WINNING IMAGES FROM MTCC PHOTOGRAPHY CONTEST SPARKS LOVE FOR FORESTS

 

Contest Raised Awareness On Sustainable Management Of Malaysian Forests Among Photography Enthusiasts

Kuala Lumpur, 7 December 2017 – Albert Einstein once said, “Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” Nature, or photos of it, inherently exudes a sense of peace and deep understanding found only in the presence of greenery, colourful wildlife, and blue oceans. While many of us tend to get caught up in the routine of city living, our instinct to draw close to nature in strenuous moments often seem to come almost naturally.

 

With the aim of inspiring people to appreciate mother nature and forest in particular, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council’s (MTCC) inaugural photography contest themed “Experience Forest, Experience MTCS–PEFC” mobilized participants to snap their best shots of the lush forests and its landscape, its wildlife and indigenous people as well as those contributing to preserving this heritage. The 21 winners of the Contest were announced and received their prizes at the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival (KLPF) 2017 – the largest imaging event in Malaysia, on 25 November 2017.

 

“The MTCC Photography Contest provided a platform for photography enthusiasts to explore the beauty of nature through their camera lenses. In Malaysia, our tropical forests are especially precious because of its biodiversity and long-standing role as a support system for our society. As such, we wanted to give photographers an avenue to be in touch with nature and appreciate this precious resource through the hobby of capturing images,” said MTCC CEO Mr Yong Teng Koon.

 

“Most people are also unaware of the work done by forestry people to protect and care for our forests. We wanted the public to be informed of the efforts needed to manage our tropical forests and to appreciate the caretakers of this national heritage. Our collaboration with PCP Publications for the photography contest was fitting to communicate this message to the public, some of whom are already passionate about both nature and photography,” shared Yong.

 

A shot capturing a magnificent waterfall at the Royal Belum State Park in Perak as seen through a hollow log earned Abdul Hafiz bin Abdul Hamid the overall grand prize. The photo bagged him a cash prize of RM2,000.

Shot at Royal Belum State Park in Perak, grand prize winner Abdul Hafiz bin Abdul Hamid’s photo sends the message, “Appreciate And Respect Our Natural Wonders”. He shares: “The Kooi Waterfall was where I saw a hollow 2-ft long block of log. It was facing a beautiful small waterfall. I inserted the camera into it, used small stones as a tripod replacement for the camera, and applied the slow shutter technique effectively to capture the flowing crystal clear water.”

 

“I am very touched and proud to have my photo chosen as the Grand Prize photo of MTCC’s inaugural photography contest. My hope is that this photo will be a source of inspiration to other photographers to produce many more creative images of local forests and introduce Malaysia’s natural beauty to the world,” said Abdul Hafiz who is a technical officer by profession.

The MTCC Photography Contest provided a platform for photography buffs to explore the beauty of nature through their camera lenses. (Left) MTCC CEO, Mr Yong Teng Koon presents a cash prize of RM2,000 to proud winner Abdul Hafiz bin Abdul Hamid at MTCC’s booth at the Kuala Lumpur Photography Festival 2017.

 

First prize winners in each category received RM1,200 each.  Two merit prizes of RM600 per category, and five consolation prizes of RM200 each per category were also awarded. In addition, all winners received a photobook courtesy of PCP Publications.  The winning photos were displayed for viewing at the KLPF 2017; showcasing varying takes on Malaysia’s wonderful natural heritage.

First prize photo for the category ‘People and Forest’ shot by Abdul Hafiz bin Abdul Hamid captures two indigenous people of Malaysia steering a bamboo raft on a calm lake at Royal Belum State Park, Perak.
Tan Ee Long’s first prize photo for the ‘Forest and Forest Landscape’ category perfectly captures a dramatic view of Genting Highlands’ forest landscape on an overcast, misty day.First prize photo for the category ‘Forest and Forest Landscape’ shot by Tan Ee Long
Titled ‘Family Tree’, this beautiful photo of a troop of monkeys shot at Muar, Johor bagged Ivan Lim Yu Meng first prize in the ‘Forest and Animals’ category.

 

Entries were shortlisted and judged based on several criteria, namely creativity, relevancy to the theme, originality and overall impact. The judging panel for the contest were made up of PCP Publications editor-in-chief, Jessica Chan; MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon; and Founder and Director at Nusantara Photography, Ashraf Saharudin, who himself is a nature-loving person with more than 10 years of experience in the photography industry.

 

Commenting on the contest submissions, Yong said, “We were very impressed by the quality of the entries as they truly captured our Malaysian forests in their raw beauty. The winning photos were particularly successful in depicting the splendor of our forests and, in our opinion, were able to instill in its viewers a sense of gratitude toward Mother Nature.”

 

Organised in collaboration with PCP Publications, the contest which was held from 5 July to 15 October 2017 garnered a total submission of 837 photos from 95 photographers across three categories.

 

Category 1 (Forests and People) required participants to capture images of people involved in the field of forestry responsible for the sustainable management and well-being of Malaysia’s forest resources, including foresters, forest rangers, forest researchers, auditors and indigenous peoples. Category 2 (Forests and Forest Landscapes) sought for shots capturing a forest’s natural beauty, diversity and uniqueness in form and structure. They included the geological or climatological features and natural environment of the Malaysian forest. While Category 3 (Forests and Animals) invited participants to capture images of animals in the wild including mammals, birds, amphibians or reptiles.

MTCC PROMOTES MTCS-CERTIFIED TIMBER AT SMIDEX 2017

 

As the backbone of Malaysia’s economy, small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) play an immense role in helping to push the country’s socio-economy growth and development. Participating in the 20th SME Annual Showcase & Conference 2017 (SMIDEX), the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) joined other industry players and government agencies  to highlight  on new growth opportunities for SMEs.

 

During the event, representatives from MTCC shared insights on how timber certification could benefit SMEs operating in the timber and timber-related sector. Timber certification scheme such as the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) has been proven to be an effective tool to enable timber and timber-related Malaysian companies create competitive market position and brand image for their products as well as helping them meet national and international procurement policies.  SMEs can also showcase leadership on sustainability and communicate their commitments for good environmental practices to access markets which demand sustainable timber.

“SMIDEX 2017 has provided MTCC a platform  to exhibit and promote the use and trade of certified timber, and increase SMEs interest to include products made from such materials in their business. We also had the chance to spread awareness on the importance of SFM to everyone who visited SMIDEX 2017,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

 

SMIDEX 2017, the largest established SME showcase, was held at the Malaysia International Trade and Exhibition Centre (MITEC), Kuala Lumpur from 15 to 17 November 2017. This year’s event was themed “Embracing Change, Enhancing Gain” and effectively featured showcases by SMEs, large companies and multinational corporations. SMIDEX 2017 attracted  316 local exhibitors and a total of 11,195 trade visitors.

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MTCC WELCOMES MOVE FOR MANDATORY FOREST CERTIFICATION IN SARAWAK

 

Kuala Lumpur, 28 November 2017 – Timber concessions in Sarawak will be required to obtain forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) to demonstrate that they are responsibly managed. The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) applauds this commitment made by the Deputy Chief Minister of Sarawak, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, at the State Assembly.

Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan

 

“Forest certification is an important instrument to promote and verify the implementation of sustainable forest management, thus safeguarding the environmental, social and economic benefits that forests provide,” explained Yong Teng Koon, Chief Executive Officer of MTCC.

“Furthermore, as the forestry and timber industries contribute significantly towards the socio-economic development of the country, it is imperative that Malaysia is able to demonstrate its forest sustainability credentials through certification,” added Yong.

Forest certification is gaining momentum as there is an increasing awareness and realisation among policy makers, businesses and consumers for the need to embed sustainability in procurement through responsible sourcing. This wave of green consumerism is expected to grow. Malaysian forest product manufacturers therefore must embrace sustainable practices and sourcing as an integral part of their business strategy and commitment.

Embracing forest certification will also assist Malaysia in achieving international commitments and national policies on environment, biodiversity, climate change and contribute towards its national sustainable development goals (SDGs).

“The announcement by the Deputy Chief Minister is therefore most encouraging and timely as it can act as a catalyst to ensure further uptake of forest certification in line with national sustainability agenda. We will work closely with stakeholders in Sarawak and provide the needed guidance on the requirements to obtain forest certification. Ultimately, it must be demonstrated that forest management practices are in compliance with the requirements outlined in the MTCS before certification can be granted,” concluded Yong.

The MTCS sets requirements for sustainable forest management certification in Malaysia, and has achieved PEFC endorsement in 2009. PEFC, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, is the largest forest certification system in the world.

MTCC PRESENTS ACADEMIC AWARDS TO EXEMPLARY FORESTRY STUDENTS FROM UMS AND UPM

 

MTCC Recognises Outstanding Achievements Of UMS And UPM Graduates

 

Kuala Lumpur, 27 November 2017 – The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), in an effort to promote academic excellence and inculcate a love for forests amongst university students, recently presented Academic Awards to three forestry undergraduates from two local universities.

 

The 2017 Awards were won by Norazlin Binti Rosli and Lim E Yee, both from the Faculty of Forest, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM); and Lim Mee Chingfrom the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). The award presented to UMS is named the Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award in honour of MTCC’s founding Chairman, Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom, who had led the organisation for 17 years.

First presented in 2016, the MTCC Academic Awards aim to recognise outstanding students from the forestry-related field of study who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating overall academic excellence and scholarship in their final year project thesis.

 

“This is the second year we are collaborating with UPM and UMS to recognise and reward young talents demonstrating outstanding academic achievement in forestry-related studies. Through the Awards, we hope to raise the awareness amongst students about the importance of sustainable forest management in Malaysia, and the role of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) in championing this pursuit,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

 

“Promoting sustainable forestry through the implementation of the MTCS is the core of MTCC’s work. MTCC accords great importance to collaborating with local universities to inspire more young people to embark on a career in forestry and forestry-related industries,” Yong elaborated.

 

The recipients of the MTCC Academic Awards were selected based on the undergraduate’s overall academic performance and the quality of their final year projects that focus on fields related to Sustainable Forest Management, Forest Certification, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Forest Plantation Management, Chain-of-Custody Certification, or Timber and Non-Timber Forest Products Utilization.

Commenting on the Award win, Lim Mee Ching from UMS said, “We cannot wait until our vital forest reserves are depleted to start conservation works. It has to begin now, and it is everyone’s duty to protect our forests. The MTCC Award serves as an encouragement for young people to play a more active role in promoting sustainable forestry. Additionally, it also influences my interest to consider a career in a forest-related industry.”

 

Excited and grateful to have won the award, UPM’s, Norazlin Binti Rosli, said, “This award helped me realize the important role of forestry education in safeguarding the future of our forests. Forestry education not only equips our youth with good basic knowledge and skills to sustainably manage our forest resources; the wider perspective of forestry education lies in its potential to change mind-sets and promote actions to ensure the long term well-being of our forests.”

 

“MTCC hopes that the Awards will inspire more students to take up forestry-related courses and spur them to take on greater responsibility in promoting sustainable forest management in Malaysia. Additionally, timber being Malaysia’s third largest export-oriented commodity, we hope that these students will be inspired to work in the forestry sector upon graduation and make  a positive impact on the environment and society,” Yong concluded.

 

UPM scholars, Norazlin Binti Rosli and Lim E Yee, received a Certificate of Achievement and RM1,000 cash prize each. Meanwhile, Lim Mee Ching from UMS walked away with a Certificate of Achievement and RM2,000 cash prize.

UMS FORESTRY SCHOLAR NAMED RECIPIENT OF FREEZAILAH FOREST SUSTAINABILITY AWARD

Kuala Lumpur, 19 November 2017 – The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), in an effort to promote academic excellence and inculcate a love for forest,  presented the Freezailah Forest Sustainably Award to Lim Mee Ching, a final year student from the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources of University Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

 

The academic Award was presented to Lim Mee Ching by MTCC Chairman, Datuk Himmat Singh, at the UMS 19th Convocation ceremony. Lim received a Certificate of Achievement and RM2,000 cash prize.

First presented in 2016, the Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award aims to recognise outstanding students from the forestry-related field of study who have distinguished themselves by demonstrating overall academic excellence and scholarship in their final year project thesis. The Award was established in honour of MTCC’s founding Chairman, Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom, who had led the institution for 17 years.

 

MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon said, “This is the second year we are collaborating with UMS to recognise and reward young talent demonstrating outstanding academic achievement in forestry-related studies. Through this Award, we hope to raise the awareness of the students on the importance of sustainable forest management in Malaysia and the role of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) in championing this pursuit.”

 

“Promoting sustainable forestry through the implementation of the MTCS is the core of MTCC’s work. MTCC accords great importance to collaborating with UMS to inspire more young people to embark on a career in forestry and forestry-related industries,” Yong elaborated.

The recipient of the  Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award  is selected based on the undergraduate’s overall academic performance as well as final year projects that focus on fields related to Sustainable Forest Management, Forest Certification, Natural Resources Management, Environmental Impact Assessment, Forest Plantation Management, Chain-of-Custody Certification, or Timber and Non-Timber Forest Products Utilization.

 

Commenting on the Award win, Lim said, “We cannot wait until our vital forest reserves are depleted to start conservation works. It has to begin now, and it is everyone’s duty to protect our forests. The MTCC Award serves as an encouragement for young people to play a more active role in promoting sustainable forestry. Additionally, it also influences my interest to consider a career in a forest-related industry.”

 

“MTCC hopes that the Award will inspire more students to take up forestry-related courses and spur them to take on greater responsibility in promoting sustainable forest management in Malaysia. Additionally,  timber being Malaysia’s third largest export-oriented commodity, we hope that these students will be inspired to work in the forestry sector upon graduation and make  a positive impact on the environment and society,” Yong concluded.

MTCC INSTILS AWARENESS ON SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN

Kuala Lumpur, 7 November 2017 – Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) took part in the Kuala Lumpur Engineering Science Fair (KLESF) 2017 in an effort to create greater awareness and inculcate passion and love for the forests and their sustainability among the primary and secondary students. Interactive activities on practices of sustainable forest management (SFM) were carried out to engage the students in pursuit of this aim.

 

“Conserving our forests is critical in ensuring the future supply of natural renewable resources, protection of biological diversity and ecosystem services, sustainable human livelihood and in mitigating the growing threat of climate change. Young people should be made aware of the need and importance of conserving our forests, as they will be the ‘change agents’ and future leaders of our country,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

 

“The inquisitive nature of young minds definitely makes it easier to instil green values and an appreciation of implementing SFM in Malaysia. Through our participation at KLESF, we were able to engage and reach out to many enthusiastic youngsters. We sincerely hope that they have benefited from participating in MTCC’s activities and have gained a better understanding and appreciation of the important roles of our forests,” Yong elaborated.

With a display of colourful posters and a model depicting the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) certification process, the booth attracted 400 students who were keen to learn about the MTCS and its role in promoting sustainable forestry in Malaysia.  The word search on SFM in particular, generated good interest and active participation of the students.

 

MTCC believes that deeper knowledge and understanding of the values of forest management practices, taking into consideration their economic, social and environmental aspects can have positive impacts among these students on the need to safeguard our forest for the future.  The MTCS ensures that our forests are sustainably managed through independent assessment of forest management practices and periodic audits of MTCS-certified forests and forest plantations.

“We also want to create awareness among the students on the importance of using sustainable materials such as certified timber products. Educating them young in making such conscious choices would definitely be a step in the right direction to ensure a greener future for all Malaysians,” Yong concluded.


The KLESF 2017 was held at the Mines International Exhibition and Convention Centre from 3 to 5 November 2017. The event attracted primary and secondary school students across the nation, allowing them to share and learn from one another about the application of science and engineering in their environment. It also aims to raise awareness on the role of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) in socio-economic wellbeing and sustainable development.

MTCC ADVOCATES SUSTAINABLE TIMBER TO BUILD GREENER CITIES AT IGEM 2017

MTCC Supports Malaysia’s Commitment to United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

 

Kuala Lumpur, 10 October 2017 – The United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which comprises a set of 17 global goals challenge us to find ways to improve the lives of people today and in the future.  Goal 11 of the SDGs focuses on ‘Sustainable Cities and Communities’, aiming to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.

 

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) will be present at the International Greentech & Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM) 2017 to be held from 11 to 13 October at Booth 2805, Hall 2, Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, to showcase how businesses and consumers can support the implementation of this goal through the use of sustainable and certified timber.

 

In line with the theme of IGEM 2017, “Powering Green Cities”, MTCC advocates the utilisation of certified timber under the MTCS as a strategic move to promote the building of greener cities in Malaysia.

 

“The call for greener cities is more than ever crucial with over half of the world’s population living in cities today. As we strive to transform our cities into modern, sustainable living spaces, we must ensure that the development process, among others, embraces the use of sustainable materials at its core. Green cities are about building and living in a sustainable manner, which includes the use of sustainable material in our everyday lives. MTCC empowers specifiers, companies and individuals to do their part in this endeavour by making available MTCS-certified timber products,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

 

To further advance this pursuit, MTCC encourages businesses that use and sell timber products to obtain the supply chain certification under the MTCS. Besides leadership in sustainability, these businesses play an important role of ensuring adequate supply of MTCS-certified timber products in the domestic market.

 

MTCC also urges consumers to join in this endeavour by consciously choosing and demanding for certified timber products in their purchases. “Increasingly, consumers are becoming more aware and environmentally conscious and want to make ethical, environmental-friendly purchases.  Without a doubt, the demand by Malaysian consumers to purchase MTCS-certified products as their preferred choice would have a direct and positive impact on the management of our forests and the timber supply chain,” Yong concluded.

MTCC PROMOTES MTCS-CERTIFIED TIMBER PRODUCTS AT EUROPE’S LARGEST GARDEN EXPO IN GERMANY

 

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) participated in SPOGA+Gafa, Europe’s largest garden expo, for the seventh consecutive year to promote timber and timber-related products sourced from sustainably managed Malaysian tropical forests.

 

In addition to building greater awareness and access for MTCS-PEFC certified timber and timber-based products, MTCC took the opportunity to educate delegates including legislators, manufacturers, garden furniture companies, and the timber trade community at-large, about sustainable forest management practices in Malaysia, and how the national timber certification scheme, the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), promotes a sustainable timber sector.

 

“Timber certication has proven to be an effective tool in helping Malaysian timber and timber-based products secure better access and presence in markets which place greater emphasis on sustainability.  We very much appreciate this platform to further educate European Union buyers and consumers that choosing MTCS-PEFC certified timber and timber-based products is a positive choice for the environment,” said Yong Teng Koon, MTCC CEO.

 

According to MTCC, the German Federal Government is planning to develop a new guideline that will make sustainability certification a pre-condition for public procurements. As demand for sustainable material grows, timber certification like the MTCS will create positive market conditions for Malaysian timber and timber-based producers and exporters.

 

Over the years, tropical timber from Malaysia has enjoyed good reputation in the German market. It is often the choice of timber importers, traders and window manufacturers due to its sturdiness and resistance to damage from insects, fungus, and moisture decay.

Themed, ‘Come and Grow’, SPOGA+Gafa 2017 was held from 3 to 5 September 2017 in Cologne, Germany. This year, it attracted a total of 39,000 visitors from 113 countries. More than 2,131 exhibitors from 59 countries showcased their products related to Garden Living, Garden Creation and Care, Garden BBQ and Garden Unique.

 

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