Nature and Nation

Forests and Development in Peninsular Malaysia

by Jeyamalar Kathirithamby-Wells

  • Published:
  • Pages: 526 pp.
  • illustrated
  • Series number: 9
Available from NIAS Press worldwide except North America

“The author’s work makes a major contribution to the forest history of Peninsular Malaysia and … it will long be regarded as a ground-breaking and seminal study that no one with an interest in the environmental history of the region can afford not to read. Nothing remotely like it exists for the Peninsular and I know of no other comparable work on any other part of the Tropics. It is sui generis.” (External reader).

• Ground-breaking, in-depth history of forestry and forest politics in peninsular Malaysia.
• Essential reference for anyone working on the subject.

This book explores the relations between people and forests in Peninsular Malaysia where the planet’s richest terrestrial eco-system met head-on with the fastest pace of economic transformation experienced in the tropical world. It engages the interplay of history, culture, science, economics and politics to provide a holistic interpretation of the continuing relevance of forests to state and society in the moist tropics.

Malaysia has long been singled out for emulation by developing nations, an accolade contradicted in recent years by concerns over its capital-, rather than poverty-driven forest depletion. The Malaysian case supports the call for re-appraisal of entrenched prescriptions for development that go beyond material needs.

“The author’s work makes a major contribution to the forest history of Peninsular Malaysia and … it will long be regarded as a ground-breaking and seminal study that no one with an interest in the environmental history of the region can afford not to read. Nothing remotely like it exists for the Peninsular and I know of no other comparable work on any other part of the Tropics. It is sui generis.” (External reader).

by Michael Imort, Wilfrid Laurier University
From journal:
Cultural Geographies Journal

…a first-rate environmental history, a well-documented political-economic critique of myopic concepts of development, and a thoughtful contribution to the rapidly expanding literature on international environmental governance.

…a first-rate environmental history, a well-documented political-economic critique of myopic concepts of development, and a thoughtful contribution to the rapidly expanding literature on international environmental governance.

by Emma Reisz
From journal:
ASEASUK

“This long-awaited and path-breaking history of forestry on the Malaysian peninsula is an important work of scholarship, reaching in impressive detail from the 18th to the end of the 20th century, and

“This long-awaited and path-breaking history of forestry on the Malaysian peninsula is an important work of scholarship, reaching in impressive detail from the 18th to the end of the 20th century, and skilfully charting a course from colonial forestry to the rise of sustainable development.”

by Teresa Shewry
From journal:
Graduate Journal of Asia-Pacific Studies
4:2

“…a beautifully presented analysis of histories of ecology and imperial botany, conservation and forest administration in Peninsular Malaysia.
Often movingly, it contributes little-acknowledged

“…a beautifully presented analysis of histories of ecology and imperial botany, conservation and forest administration in Peninsular Malaysia.
Often movingly, it contributes little-acknowledged historical contexts for, and new
questions about, the sweeping ecological changes in the world that we are living in.”

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