Viewpoints: Land transitions in peninsular Malaysia: From palmisation to urbanization

shutterstock_162506381Aliyu Barau
Bayero University, Nigeria

For those who live and work in emerging economies, the social and ecological effects of urban sprawl and landscape fragmentation on agricultural and ecological landscapes are readily apparent. Malaysia provides an example of this phenomenon. Like many countries in Asia, Malaysia has undergone rapid urbanization, increasing from 26.5% in 1957, the year it gained independence, to 62% in 2000. (Masron et al., 2012).  For some decades, agricultural landscapes, particularly oil palm plantations, have become well-known drivers of environmental change in countries in Southeast Asia, especially in Malaysia.  However, the role of urbanization in changing the dominance of these plantations has not received adequate attention.

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