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Abd Latif Mohmod was born in Johor, Malaysia, in 1960. He graduated  from  the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) with a degree in Applied Microbiology in 1984 and joined the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM) as a Research Officer in 1985, becoming the Head of the Non-wood Forest Products Research Program in 1988 and have held the post until January 1999. Since January 1998, he has been appointed as the Project Leader for National Pioneer Industrial Project on Zero Waste Utilization Programme of Non-wood Forest Products. He obtained the Master of Science from the Universiti Pertanian Malaysia (UPM) in 1992 and completed his Doctor of Philosophy (Non-wood Forest Products) in February 1996 (via three years part-time status) at the same university.


Dr Abd Latif has energetically pioneered and managed research and development activities on properties and utilisation of non-timber forest products such as rattan, bamboo and palm. To date, he has published nearly 200 papers in various local and international journals and proceedings and invented 47 machines (12 registered) for processing rattan, bamboo, Pandanus and other palms. The majority of his inventions  are  currently being utilized in factories operated by indigenous peoples and rural communities. He is also actively involved in joint venture research works  on non-wood forest products, either as researcher or supervisor for graduate and post-graduate students with various local and foreign universities such as Norway and the USA. He is currently engaged with various government agencies such  as Malaysia Export Trade Center, Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation, Trustee Council for Indigenous People, Federal Land Consolidation and  Rehabilitation Authority and Ministry  of International Trade Industry as committee member  in initiating and fostering the development of the non-wood forest-based industries.


As the Head of the FRIM-World Bank Small- and Medium-scale Industries Development Project since 1987, he has been actively involved in transferring research results into practice especially for the rural societies. Up to now, he has conducted 55 entrepreneurial training courses participated by 1350 peoples and initiated establishment of almost 45 non-timber forest-based mills regionally. He has also personally succeeded in the establishment of the Rattan and Bamboo Entrepreneurs Society for the Indigenous People of Peninsular Malaysia in August 1997.


He is regarded as one of the resource persons for various rattan and bamboo associations and industries such as in Africa, Cambodia, Indonesia, India, Japan. Laos PDR, USA and Latin America. He has also been appointed, amongst others, as the Coordinator for the International Forestry Group for "Bamboo and Related Species" research and developmental activities of the International Union of Forestry Research Organisation (IUFRO) P5.08 from August 1998 after serving as the Deputy since December 1995; Evaluation Committee Member for India Government Bamboo Board Project in 1992; The Expert Member for United Nation Environmental Program - Working Group on Sustainable Renewable Resources and Products Development (UNEP-WG-SPD) based at the University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands since June 1996; a Visiting Fellow Scientist of International Network on Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR) since January 1998 and Fellow for Biosciences Institute of the UPM from September 1998. He is also serving as Advisor for various disable societies such as Kangonga Handicraft Production Centre for Handicapped People of Zambia, Africa and currently has been appointed as Advisor for the Modernization in Non-timber Forest Based Technology Program of China Academy of Forestry (CAF) – Institute of Plywood and Research Technology (IPIRTI) India since June 1999.


Amongst the awards received throughout his career, include FRIM Award for Excellence of Work (1988, 1994), Best Publication Award (1992), FRIM Book of the Year (1993, 1996), FRIM Research Award (1995) and MINDEX/INNOTEX National Invention Award (1993 and 1994). He is also recorded as the first and the only forestry scientist ever honored with the Malaysian National Young Scientist Award (Industrial Sector-1993). He was also honored with the Fellowship of Korea International Cooperation Agency on R&D Management (1994) and Senior Executive Job Attachment at the University of Tsinghua, Beijing, China in 1996. In 1995, he was awarded with the International Union of Forestry Research Organization Scientific Achievement Award which instantly recognised him as the youngest recipient in the history of global forestry practice; followed by Ahli Mangku Negara in 1996, Malaysian National Inventor Award in 1997, Eisenhower Fellow from the USA and currently The Outstanding Young Malaysian Award 1999.