Five In-tree-guing Forest Facts

A Closer Look at the Majestic Diversity of Malaysia’s Central Forest Spine (CFS)

Did you know that the oldest rainforest in the world isn’t in the Amazon or Borneo Lowland, but is right here in Peninsular Malaysia? At a mind-boggling 130 million years old, our very own Taman Negara holds the honour of not only being the oldest but also one with the most biodiversity in the world! More than that, it is also one of only four forest complexes which makes up the Central Forest Spine (CFS)* that’s sprawled across eight states in Peninsular Malaysia.  

Think that’s amazing? Find out more below!

  1. Lasted millions of years of climate change with no major natural disasters (so far) The CFS is the only forest area in the world that has stood throughout human history (including throughout the unpredictable ice age) without a dent in this ancient jungle. Other jungles may have changed or come and gone, but the CFS still stands tall as it is.
  2. Has more hornbills than say.. the Land of the Hornbills Hornbills may be soaring high further east as the official state bird of Sarawak, but according to UNESCO, the Royal Belum-Temenggor forest possesses at least 10 identifiable species of hornbills. This beats out the Land of the Hornbills itself by 2 more species!
  3. Reduces our heat waves Imagine how much more air conditioning you would need if it wasn’t for the CFS! Holding over 85% of Malaysia’s entire carbon stock (the essential ingredient that balances our carbon cycle), the CFS reduces greenhouse gasses and helps mitigate the effects of climate change, keeping us cool even on the hottest of days!
  4. Malaysia’s biggest water dispenser The CFS acts as the main source of water for Peninsular Malaysia and supplies water to 80% of the Malaysian population. That’s 22.3 million people! It even has enough water leftover to supply our neighbours in Singapore as well as for our own local agricultural and industrial needs.
  5. Houses the largest number of rare species in the world (including dinosaurs) While dinosaurs used to roam our majestic jungle millions of years ago, today it is home to the greatest number of rare animals in the world. From the striking Malayan tiger to the elusive sun bear, the fascinating Sumatran rhinoceros and even the strong Indian bison (seladang), you name it, our CFS has it. More than that, our jungle also holds over 14,000 species of plants, 200 mammals and 240 types of trees.

  These are just five fascinating facts about our incredible CFS, which is unfortunately coming under increasing threats of deforestation and degradation. As of 2015, the forest covered only 44.5% of Peninsular Malaysia, compared to 77% in 1946. At the rate things are going, this magnificent forest could very well disappear in the near future. Yayasan Hasanah has been working with various partners to prevent this from happening, but more needs to be done. Everyone needs to work together to preserve this amazing gift that mother nature has bequeath upon us for generations to come. To find out how you can play your role, visit our website: or visit our YouTube page for more info:

An infographic showing five interesting facts about the Central Forest Spine (CFS).
An infographic showing five interesting facts about the Central Forest Spine (CFS).

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