Matang of 40,466 hectares is the largest single mangrove forest in Peninsular Malaysia estimated at 101,877 hectares. It has been acknowledge to be the best managed mangrove forest in Malaysia. Matang mangrove is an examplary sustainable managed mangrove forest which has been able to sustain the continuing demand for wood resources and preservation of the mangrove ecosystem. mangrove itself is a unique ecosystem which requires special attention and management. Its location which is between land and the sea plays an important role is fisheries, coastal protection and conservation of biodiversity of both flora and fauna.
It has been a traditional practice that felling contractors are required to retain a 3 meter buffer of mangrove trees along the river banks in the clear felled areas. The buffer protects the river bank from excessive erosion, maintains the aesthetic value of the forest and also act as a source of propagules especially for the immediate felled areas.
Firewood was the earliest & most extensively exploited resources to be derived from the Matang mangrove forest. In fact it was due to its high value and demand at that time the mangrove forest in Matang were gazetted as forest reserves. Whereas charcoal manufacture industry in Matang only started off in 1930 and from that humble beginning charcoal industry grew into being the largest and most lucrative industry utilizing mangrove timber resources in Matang. Truly, Matang is a national heritage and an asset, for it has been a provider of numerous renewable products of commerce and in the continuing generation of economic opportunities for the local communities.