Malaysia is exceptionally rich in terms of both natural resources and of biological diversity. It has palm- and mangrove-fringed coastlines, multi-canopied rainforests, limestone pinnacles and granite mountains—all homes to some of the world's most diverse flora and fauna. In addition, man-made habitats, such as plantations, have been developed on a huge scale for commercial exploitation. A true understanding of the Malaysian environment is therefore both important and fascinating.
This book sets out the basic concepts essential to this understanding. It considers Malaysia's origins and location and the make-up of its land and people. The first major section surveys the physical geography of Malaysia, in terms of geology and resources, and mountain, cave and river systems, rainforests and peatswamps. It examines Malaysia's climate and weather, highlighting the importance of winds and storms, monsoons and the El Nino phenomenon. The impact of the environment on human life, traditions, customs and economic activity is another important part of the picture. Today, conversely, the effect of man's activities on the environment is an area of significant concern. This book offers a detailed examination of all the major issues, from forest management to the quality of air and water and the impacts of agrochemicals and toxic waste.
Malaysia is fortunate in having a Natural Environmental Policy: the final section of the book is devoted to this and other promising trends such as environmental education and the development of ecotourism.
Visit the The Encyclopedia of Malaysia website.
Professor Dato' Dr Sham Sani
Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
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