The Malaysia Forest Fund (MFF), a government agency that generates funding for the forestry sector through carbon trading and donations from corporates, has appointed the founder of non-profit EcoKnights Dr Yasmin Rasyid as chairman. She will replace Datuk Dr Kamilia Binti Ibrahim in the role.
Yasmin takes on the new role as chairperson just three months after her appointment as general manager of the property arm of Malaysian conglomerate Sime Darby.
Her role will involve strengthening MFF’s engagement with other government agencies, non-government organisations and the private sector, addressing technical constraints, and raising the profile of the organisation.
The Malaysia Forest Fund was formed under Malaysia’s Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Sustainability in 2021 to oversee the implementation of forest projects in Malaysia, including those under the REDD Plus Finance Framework, which was set up in 2017 to curb deforestation in developing countries by tapping carbon markets.
Conserving forests in Malaysia is costly and highly dependent on public funding from the state or federal governments. In 2020 a paper was tabled to the Malaysian Cabinet for the establishment of MFF to develop alternative methods to fund forest conservation under the REDD Plus instrument.
Some of the near term initiatives Yasmin will be working on include overseeing the operationalisation of Forest Conservation Certificate (FCC), a certification scheme that supports forest conservation in Malaysia. She will also work on finalising the Forest Carbon Offset instrument, a domestic carbon crediting system slated for launch in the first quarter of 2024.
Before joining Sime Darby Property, Yasmin was sustainability director of Landlease Malaysia. She holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) in Biotechnology and a PhD in sustainability studies from Universiti Malaya. In 2005, she founded EcoKnights, a non-governmental organisation focused on sustainable community development.