SMS To Save The Trees
It’s a common misconception that we can keep cutting trees down without any concern as trees are renewable resources. But trees don’t grow instantaneously, they take time to grow, and if we cut them faster than they can grow then we will be eventually out of trees.
Malaysia has been practicing sustainable forest management for a long time. In 1978, Malaysia has adopted the Selective Management System (‘SMS’) with a 30 years rotation cycle in place of the Malayan Uniform System with a 50 years rotation cycle. It is now the main forest management system in Malaysia.
“The Selective Management System (‘SMS’) practiced in Malaysia has evolved to optimise an economic cut, the sustainability of the forests and minimum cost for forest development.” - Malaysian Hardwood Guide
SMS serves as a concept that provides flexible minimum cutting limit to respective forest areas. Under this system, forestry activities are categorised into three stages - pre-harvesting, harvesting and post-harvesting. Before the trees are cut down, the pre-felling forest inventory will be taken into consideration to determine the most appropriate cutting regime. This allows the minimisation of the need of forest rehabilitation that can sometimes be rather costly.
After the trees are harvested, there will be a post-felling inventory to ascertain the residual trees and whether a silvicultural treatment is needed.