Tan Sri Dato’ Dr. Salleh bin Haji Mohd Nor


keynote1Born in 1940, in Negeri Sembilan, Salleh had his early education at Tuanku Muhammad Secondary School. In 1957, he gained admission into the Federation Military College (later the Royal Military College) at Port Dickson. He completed his secondary education and obtained a Higher School Certificate in Science. He was awarded the Director of Studies prize for being the top in academic field in the graduating class.

Salleh was a recipient of the Colombo Plan Scholarship to study Forestry in Adelaide from 1961-1962, and later at the Australian Forestry School (AFS), Canberra, from which he graduated with a BSc (Forestry) from Adelaide University and a Diploma of Forestry from AFS.

On returning to Malaysia, he started his professional career, undertaking forest resources inventory for the Forest Resources Reconnaissance Survey (FRRS).He spent months in field work in the forest, undertaking forest inventory which formed the foundation for the national land use planning for the country.

He was then awarded a Dutch Government scholarship for a 13-month course on Forest Photo-Interpretation at the International Institute for Aerial Survey and Earth Sciences (ITC) in Delft, the Netherlands.  Salleh was later awarded a United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) to study for his MSc and followed by a Federal Government scholarship to study for his PhD at Michigan State University which he completed in four years.

In 1977, Salleh was appointed as the director of Forest Research Institute (FRI) Kepong, a unit of the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia. Eight years later, the institute was transformed into a statutory body through an Act of Parliament, and the Malaysia Forestry Research and Development Board (MFRDB) was formed to administer the Institute, which was subsequently named Forest Research Institute Malaysia or FRIM and Salleh was appointed its first Director General until his retirement from service. Among others, Salleh initiated research into the utilisation of rubber wood, which was then a waste product from the rubber plantations. Rubber wood has since become an international success with rubberwood furniture now an accepted and respected product worldwide.

Salleh was involved with numerous local and international organisations in his effort towards addressing rising environmental concern. He was elected President of the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), the first person from outside Europe and America in 100 years history of IUFRO. He was a member of the Board a number of international organizations such as INBAR, CIFOR and APAFRI.

He was a member of the inaugural Malaysian Human Rights Commission (SUHAKAM), former Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Kolej Universiti Terengganu (KUT) now known as Universiti Malaysia Terengganu (UMT), Inaugural Chairman of Malaysian Bio-Industry Organization (MBIO), and Inaugural Fellow, past Vice President, former Secretary-General and Council member of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM).

Salleh was a member of the Yayasan DiRaja Sultan Mizan (Sultan Mizan Royal Foundation) with the then Yang Di-Pertuan Agong as its Chairman. Tan Sri Salleh was elected as its Deputy Chairman and appointed the Chief Executive Officer of the World Endurance Championship 2008, when the Foundation has been given the honour to organise World Endurance Championship by the International Equestrian Federation, the first time that this prestigious event was ever held in Asia. He was also instrumental in Malaysia becoming a member of the Antarctica Treaty and has been to Antarctica four times and the Arctic once.

Salleh was President of Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) for 30 years. Amongst his many achievements were the formation of the Endau Rompin National Park in Johore and Royal Belum State Park in Perak. He sits in a number of other NGOs such as Friends of Bukit Kiara (FOBK), Friends of Kota Damansara (FOKD), Control Union, Malaysian Turtle Protection Society and Michigan State and Adelaide University Alumni in Malaysia.

Salleh is currently the Pro-Chancellor of University Technology Malaysia where he headed the UTM Everest project that saw two UTM students reached the peak of Everest in 2016. Salleh is also the oldest Malaysian to set foot on Everest Base camp at the age of 72 which was recorded in the Malaysia Book of Records. Over the years, Salleh has published twenty books and numerous articles on conservation.

His awards include the Inaugural Langkawi Award, the Third World Network of Scientific Organisations (TWNSO) prize on public understanding of Science, Old Putra of the Year, National Science Award, Honorary Doctor of Science by Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia, University of Aberdeen and University Malaysia Terengganu. Tan Sri Salleh was awarded the Asean Achievement Award for environment protection, the  prestigious Tun Razak Award, Libur Environment Award, the Inaugural Malaysian Forestry Research and Development Board (MFRDB) Award and was one of 50 “Tokoh Malaysia” (Malaysian Heros) on the occasion of the 50th Anniversary of “Merdeka”. Tan Sri Salleh was awarded a “Fellow” of the Malaysian Scientific Association and Senior Fellowship by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia which carries the title of “Academician”. Salleh was awarded the Inaugural “Tapir Award” for life-long service to conservation by the Malaysian Nature Society in conjunction with MNS 75th anniversary. In 2016, Salleh was awarded the prestigious Merdeka Award in the Environment Category.

Salleh also manages a forestry consultancy business in forest inventory and sustainable management of forests and has undertaken consultancies in forest inventory and valuation of forest areas both locally and overseas. He is passionate on the environment and regularly gives talks.

June 2022



Enhancing Lives and Livelihood Through Inclusive and Sustainable Management  of Natural Resources

By Salleh Mohd. Nor


The World is faced with a number of serious global problems including climate change and loss of biodiversity. Forests and natural resources play an important role in mitigating climate change and conserving biodiversity. Malaysia as one of the twelve mega-biodiversity countries and with a long shore line and thus is in danger of losing land due to climate change as well as loss of the country’s rich biodiversity. The paper discusses what actions Malaysia as a nation including the states can and should do, as land is a state jurisdiction. The dangers of coastal erosion and possible dangers to local and state economic activities and social impacts are also addressed.


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