About the Project

With support from Yayasan Hasanah, we collaborated with the Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia to build the capacity of key actors, partners and stakeholders working in the Central Forest Spine (CFS).

The three-year project embedded a series of training and capacity building activities to identify and assess key ecosystem services in the CFS using the Toolkit for Ecosystem Services Site-based Assessment (TESSA). Through this project, partnerships were nurtured and strengthened for the protection and conservation of forests in the CFS linkages.

Click here to read the project summary in Bahasa Malaysia.

Read More Key areas of the project:
  1. Establish partnerships to enable assessment of ecosystem services and conservation values across CFS
    A series of consultations and workshops were conducted to engage with key actors including State Forestry Departments (and their partners) as well as stakeholders at state and local-level to introduce the project and explore how an ecosystem services assessment can support site-level management in the CFS.
  2. Building capacity in assessing ecosystem services using TESSA
    Central to the project was the delivery of the training components on ecosystem services assessment. Together with the Tropical Biology Association, we conducted two TESSA training courses targeted at individuals who led the implementation of TESSA at selected sites. We also built the capacity amongst partners and stakeholders at site-level through a series of workshops and trainings on the TESSA approach. Site-level stakeholders who were interested to participate had the opportunity to support in the application of TESSA.
  3. Assessing ecosystem services in sites across the CFS
    Project leaders formalised their training by applying TESSA and conducted fieldwork to assess ecosystem services at the selected sites. At the end of the assessments, each site generated new information about the types and amounts of ecosystem services.

This project represented the second phase of an ongoing programme to build capacity in evidence-based ecosystem services conservation and management in Malaysia. Click here to access Phase One programme.

The acceptance, willingness and support of stakeholders to protect and reconnect the forest network is critical to the success of CFS.

The acceptance, willingness and support of stakeholders to protect and reconnect the forest network is critical to the success of CFS.

© Ch’ien C. Lee

TESSA toolkit

The Toolkit is designed to provide practical guidance to non-expert users from a variety of backgrounds to conduct low-cost and accessible methods for assessing ecosystem services. TESSA will generate an evidence-base that can be used to inform decision- making for improved environmental management in priority CFS linkages.

We will also use TESSA as a platform to establish and encourage engagement and partnerships between stakeholders in the CFS.

The toolkit can be downloaded here.

TESSA is a simplified approach to identify, assess and value ecosystem services at site-level.

TESSA is a simplified approach to identify, assess and value ecosystem services at site-level.

© Ch’ien C. Lee

Capacity Building and Training Programme

This capacity building programme involved a sequence of activities that aimed to build the knowledge and skills to identify and assess ecosystem services and conservation values among Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM) and State Forestry Departments State FDs) together with their partners and stakeholders across the CFS.

The programme was conducted in the following series:

From the project onset, despite challenges and delays imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic and nation-wide restrictions, the project team has successfully engaged with various CFS partners and stakeholders through State level CFS Technical Meetings, workshops including the Inception Workshop Series, and online engagements. 

Together with project partners, we have identified potential TESSA sites and individuals who will engage in the training programme as project leaders and lead the implementation of TESSA at selected sites.

Part 1 of Training Course 1 has been successfully organised on 6th and 7th September 2021 with the participation of 41 trainees. Some of the topics covered were understanding the concept of ecosystem services and how it is important to the beneficiaries. Besides that, the TESSA project leaders were guided on developing their assessment objectives and ways to identify ecosystem services that can be measured at their selected TESSA site. This training component was delivered by the Tropical Biology Association and facilitated by SEARRP project team.
Training Course 1 (Part 2) was held in Kuantan, Pahang from 30th November to 2nd December 2021 with a total participation of 31 trainees including project leaders and team members from all eight CFS states. The training was delivered by Tropical Biology Association (TBA) and assisted by SEARRP project team. The training covered the application of TESSA and focused on three ecosystem services and the assessment methods including global climate regulation, water-related services and nature-based recreation and tourism. Participants had the opportunity to partake and experience the standard method to measure a trees’ diameter at breast height (DBH) and explore the surroundings of Tasik Chini in Pekan, Pahang.

Fieldwork Phase One is completed. TESSA project leaders from eight CFS states have completed fieldwork and data collection.

Training Course Two was conducted in Taiping, Perak from 13 December to 15 December 2022 with a total of 27 trainees. The training was delivered by Dr Rosie Trevelyan of the Tropical Biology Association (TBA) and facilitated by the SEARRP project team. This training focused on ways to analyse data collected from the field and effectively communicate findings to target audiences.

Fieldwork Phase Two is completed. TESSA project teams from the eight CFS states have now completed fieldwork, data collection and analysis.
TESSA project leaders had conducted site and/or state level meetings to share and communicate findings from their site-based assessments as well as gather feedback from local stakeholders. In December 2023, a National-level symposium was organised to consolidate and share the TESSA experience and assessment findings from sites across the CFS.

We are building the capacity of stakeholders to have the necessary skills to identify and assess key ecosystem services in the CFS.

Project Updates

Additional Info

For more information, contact SEARRP’s Science Impact Coordinator Nur Ili Alia Ab Doroh.