Economic Valuation of Ecosystem Products and Services of Bukit Sg. Puteh Forest

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hazandy Abdul Hamid is briefing Duli Yang Maha Mulia Sultan Sharafuddin Idris Shah Alhaj Ibni Almarhum Sultan Salahuddin Abdul Aziz Shah Alhaj accomponied by Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Aini Ideris, Vice Chancellor of UPM regarding the project

Bukit Sungei Puteh Forest Reserve (BSPFR) is one of the Kuala Lumpur Wilayah Persekutuan Forest Reserved. It is consisted of three blocks with total size of ~14.5 hectares. The forest is surrounded by highways, fragmented and located south of Kuala Lumpur in Cheras area. Currently, there is a proposed newly built highway called Sungai Besi-Ulu Klang Elevated Expressway (SUKE) traversing the area. This 31.8 km highway will link existing major highways in the eastern Klang Valley areas aims at improving the traffic congestion along Cheras, Pandan and Ampang.  One of the proposed interchange will be built on one of the blocks (~7.5 hectares) of this forest.  The conversion of BSPFR to SUKE highway interchange will deprive the products and ecosystem services provided by the forest reserve. Therefore there is a need to estimate the value of the products and the ecosystem services provided by the forest, which is important in providing economic potential and policy options for strategic management of protected forest and biodiversity conservation. This project was conducted in close collaboration with the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (JPSM), Projek Lintasan Sungei Besi-Ulu Kelang Sdn. Bhd. (PLSU - a subsidiary of PROLINTAS) and Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP). It involved seven researchers, ten supporting staffs and six students as well as officers from JPSM, PLSU and PROLINTAS. The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity (TEEB) methodological framework with four components, i.e. Provisioning, Regulating, Supporting and Cultural was used in the value estimation. This approach accounted the spatial and temporal using biophysical quantification of the ecosystem services provided by BSPFR. A combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, for socio-cultural and economic valuation, respectively, was used in the analysis to derive the total economic value of BSPFR. The study has identified products and services in BSPFR with reference to 22 categories of ecosystem services introduced by TEEB. A substantial value directly to BSPFR was found for the conservation of biodiversity category with the total value up to RM140,830,277.00 followed by the woody ornamental trees amounting about RM2,699,842.00. Overall, the total economic value estimated for this area is about RM143,915,607.97, which is equivalent to RM19,188,747.73 per hectare. This outcome has been used by the JPSM in formulating further actions before this area is being gazetted out for highway development.  This project has met the demands of legislation under the National Forestry Act 1984 to assess the need for soil and water conservation, biodiversity and other considerations on the environment.

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