Deramakot Forest Reserve, a well-managed forest

Deramakot Forest Reserve (DFR) was certified as well managed in September 1997 was in its 5th certification period making it the longest certified tropical rainforest in the world until October 2019.  DFR is undergoing major re-assessment for forest certification after its certificate expired. The Covid-19 pandemic which has besieged the global community plus the bureaucracy involved in the appointment of a new certification body hinders the re-certification process of DFR. The lastest re-certification process is scheduled to be taken in early 2023.


Realising the reality of forest depletion, the Sabah Forestry Department with technical support from the German Agency for Technical Cooperation (GTZ) of Germany, have developed a management system aimed at responsible production of timber for logged over forestlands in 1989.  The system requires substantial investments in forest planning, infrastructure, low impact harvesting equipment, and training of foresters, managers and forest workers in new techniques.

The objective is to begin with the application of ecologically and scientifically acceptable forest  management to the logged-over Commercial Forest Reserves of Sabah.  The intent is to manage the commercial forest reserves in a way that mimics natural processes for production of low volume, high quality, high priced timber products in a sustainable manner.  Sustainability is defined in terms of balance nutrient cycles, forest structure, biodiversity, forest function and socio-economic needs.

Deramakot FR was chosen as the model forest for best forest management practices.

Read related article - Seminar Paper on SFM

Why Deramakot?

Deramakot Forest Reserve  is 55,507 hectares of Mixed Dipterocarp Forest.  The forest had been logged at least once with subsequent silvicultural treatment (i.e. poison girdling) before the commencement of the project.  Past forest management practices have resulted in a very heterogeneous stand types and a patchwork of different  stocking conditions.  Only 20% of the area is considered well stocked and more than 30% is covered by very poor forest with virtually no mature growing stock left.  Apart from some small human settlements that are located at the fringes of the Reserve, the entire forest area is uninhabited.

These have made Deramakot an ideal site as the model forest to demonstrate the best forest management practices before expanding the concept to other forest reserves in Sabah.  As dictated by the 3rd Forest Management Plan (planning period: 2015 - 2024), 49,711 ha of the area is set aside for log production and 5,778 ha for conservation and the remaining 18 ha under community forestry.
Last Update : 18 August 2023