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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Briefing and consultation session for chain of custody certificate holders under the MTCS

MTCC in collaboration with MTIB will be organising a half-day briefing and consultation session for chain of custody certificate holders under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).

The briefing and consultation session will be held as follows:-

            Date           : 19 September 2017 (Tuesday)

            Time          : 8.30 a.m – 1 p.m

            Venue       : Palm Garden Hotel, IOI Resort City, Putrajaya

 

MTCC would therefore like to invite your company to attend the above briefing and consultation session. You are welcome to send up to two representatives, one of whom should be your Management Representative (MR) (i.e. the person in charge of the implementation of the chain of custody system). We would be grateful if you could kindly complete the Attendance Reply Form and return it to MTCC (by fax or email) not later than 8 September 2017 (Friday)

 

Continue reading “Briefing and consultation session for chain of custody certificate holders under the MTCS”

Royal Selangor Obtains MTCS Certification

5.Penyampaian Sijil Rantaian Jagaan kepada Royal Selangor International Sdn Bhd di KLCenter: Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, awards the MTCS Chain of Custody certificate to (second from left) Royal Selangor International Executive Director, Mr Yong Yoon Li. Witnessing the event are (extreme left) Deputy Secretary General, Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Puan Zurinah Pawanteh; SGS Malaysia General Manager, Mr Kenny Looi; and (extreme right) MTCC Chairman, Datuk Himmat Singh.

 

Royal Selangor Supports Sustainable Forest Management With MTCS Chain of Custody Certification

 

Kuala Lumpur, 9 Aug 2017 – Royal Selangor, an established and iconic brand committed to producing the finest pewter products for over 130 years, is extending its leadership role  by embracing sustainability of the source of wood materials used for its pewter wares.  

 

The pursuit of sustainability culminated in Royal Selangor successfully obtaining the Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).  The MTCS is a national timber certification scheme for sustainability developed and operated by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC). Since its implementation in 2001, and as of 30 June 2017, a total of 4.1 million hectares or 28% of total Permanent Reserved Forests and 355 timber companies have been certified under the MTCS.

 

This CoC certification enables Royal Selangor to label all its wood-based pewter wares attesting compliance of its wooden components to sustainability requirements under the MTCS.  The use of the MTCC/PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification) label on its products will further strengthen Royal Selangor’s global presence since MTCS-certified materials are recognised by 38 member countries endorsed by the PEFC.  

 

The MTCS Chain of Custody Certificate was presented to Royal Selangor by the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, at the Royal Selangor headquarters. 

 

Speaking at the Certificate Presentation Ceremony, Datuk Seri Mah said, “The timber sector contributed RM21.86 billion to the country’s export earnings in 2016 and continues to take Malaysia to the global level through its ranking as one of the world’s top exporters of tropical timber products.”

4.Penyampaian Sijil Rantaian Jagaan kepada Royal Selangor International Sdn Bhd di KL

“I am very pleased to see an established and iconic brand such as Royal Selangor embracing sustainability of the source of material used for their products. It is my hope that more organisations will follow in the footsteps of Royal Selangor in obtaining timber certification and to have more products in Malaysia become certified and internationally recognised,” added Datuk Seri Mah.

 

"As a proud Malaysian company, it is our responsibility to preserve our country's natural resources and heritage especially in today's manufacturing environment by supporting conservation efforts of organisations such as the Malaysian Nature Society, MYCAT and WWF Malaysia. Towards this end, we are pleased to be working with MTCC to ensure all wood components for our products are 100% sourced from certified forests in Malaysia," said Executive Director of Royal Selangor International, Mr Yong Yoon Li.

 

"With the MTCS-PEFC certification, it is our duty to make it clear to our customers with responsible labelling as customers have the right to know about the environmental impact of the products they purchase," added Yong.

 

 “We are delighted to welcome Royal Selangor as the first non-wood based product manufacturing company to the MTCS family. This positive development would help encourage the use of certified timber beyond the traditional wood-based companies while contributing to the promotion of sustainable forest management,” expressed Datuk Himmat Singh, the Chairman of MTCC.

Royal Selangor Photo 2

(front row, right) Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, admires Royal Selangor pewterwares containing MTCS-certified wood. Looking on is (from left) MTCC CEO, Mr Yong Teng Koon, and Royal Selangor International Director, Mr Yong Yoon Li.

 

 cheeseboard group shotsalad bowl low res

Circa Collection

MTCC shares experience on timber certification with ASEAN senior forestry officials

Low ResYB Dato Sri visited the MTCC booth accompanied by Dato' Nor Akhirrudin Mahmud (Director General, Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia) and Dr Megat Sany, Undersecretary, Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment

 

Kuala Lumpur, 7 Aug 2017 – The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) participated in an exhibition held in conjunction with the 20th ASEAN Senior Officials on Forestry (ASOF) Meeting in Putrajaya from 26-28 July 2017. The ASOF Meeting is an annual event which gathers senior forestry officials from ASEAN Member States (AMS) to formulate and implement regional cooperation projects and activities related to forestry, conservation and timber trade. The Meeting was attended by over 80 senior officials from all AMS except Singapore.

 

The exhibition is in support of ASOF’s aim of accomplishing sustainable forest management (SFM) and conservation of natural resources in the region, and to showcase MTCC’s experience on timber certification as an impactful tool in pursuing SFM in Malaysia. “Malaysia has been a leader in this region for timber certification when the MTCC was established in 1998. Through the Working Group on Pan ASEAN Timber Certification Initiative established under the ASOF platform, MTCC has been sharing its experiences and expertise in operationalizing our national scheme – the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) – with other AMS. We are proud to highlight that the MTCS is the first tropical timber certification scheme to be endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) in the Asia Pacific region in 2009,” said MTCC CEO Yong Teng Koon.

 

“Currently only Malaysia and Indonesia have an operational national timber certification scheme in ASEAN. The implementation of a national timber certification scheme is in line with the Strategic Plan of Action for ASEAN Co-operation in Forestry (2016-2025) where all AMS are required to implement the ASEAN Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Tropical Forests”, added Yong. 

 

Besides the ASEAN delegates, MTCC was honoured to have YB Dato Sri Dr. Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar, Minister of Natural Resources and Environment visited the MTCC stand at the exhibition.

MTCC Photography Contest 2017

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) in collaboration with PCP Publications is organizing the inaugural MTCC Photography Contest as an initiative to raise awareness on the invaluable benefits of our tropical forest as well as to promote the importance of sustainable forest management through forest certification.

The photography contest consists of three (3) categories:-

A)          People & Forest

To capture images of people involved in the field of forestry responsible for the sustainable management and well-being of Malaysia’s forest resources. This category would include people at work such as foresters, forest rangers, forest researchers, and auditors. In addition it could also include the indigenous people who have been living in or at the vicinity of the forest and have a long tradition in caring for the forest. The image could also portray people at work utilizing modern technologies for managing and conserving Malaysia’s forest resources.

B)          Forest & Forest Landscape

To capture the beauty of the forest and forest landscape in Malaysia.  At the forest level, the images could include pictures of forest showcasing its natural beauty, diversity and uniqueness in form and structure. At the landscape level, images could include pictures on the geological or climatological features and natural environment of the Malaysian forest.

C)          Forest & Animals

Malaysian forests are home to a huge number of animal species. You are invited to submit  potraits and behaviour  of animals in the wild. The images obtained shall be under natural conditions and in an ethical manner that places the welfare of the wildlife above the photographer’s desire to obtain an image.

 

To participate, kindly download contest details from the links below :

a) Contest form

b) Rules and Regulations 

MTCC_POSTER

Eighteenth Annual General Meeting of MTCC

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The Eighteenth Annual General Meeting was held on 22 June in Kuala Lumpur during which the Audited Accounts of the MTCC for the Financial Year ended 31 December 2016 together with the Reports of the Trustees and Auditors, and the Annual Report for the year 2016, were tabled and adopted.

Status Update on the Review of MC&I(Natural Forest)

This is to announce that the review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) will be put on hold in 2017 pending the completion of the review of the PEFC sustainability benchmark expected by the end of 2017.

The review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) that commenced in January 2016 has progressed well on schedule with the conduct of the first public comment on the standard, and two meetings of the Standards Review Committee (SRC). The Second Meeting of the SRC held on 21 – 23 September 2016 in Sibu has produced an Enquiry Draft 1 that has incorporated the requirements of the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 into the MC&I(Natural Forest) as a merged standard. The decision to merge the two standards was based on the outcome of the MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue held in July 2015.

In order to ensure that the national standard revision process of all PEFC member countries take on board the revised PEFC sustainability benchmark, PEFC International has offered an extraordinary endorsement extension until 31 December 2019.

In this connection, the 71st meeting of the MTCC Board of Trustees has agreed that the review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) be put on hold and resumed in 2018 (the indicative timeline can be viewed here). All relevant stakeholders will be periodically informed of the progress of review of the PEFC sustainability benchmark and any lastest update on the review of MC&I(Natural Forest).

Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme fully accepted in The Netherlands

On 18 January 2017, following a parliamentary debate, the Government of The Netherlands announced the full acceptance of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) under the Dutch Public Procurement Policy for Sustainable Timber.    

The Dutch Minister for the Environment, Sharon Dijksma of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment had earlier made the decision to fully accept the MTCS through a letter to the Dutch Parliament dated 22 December 2016, following the positive outcome of the fact-finding mission by senior government officials and members of the Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) to Malaysia from 23-25 November 2016.

The decision is an important milestone for the MTCS and a significant endorsement of Malaysia’s commitment and ongoing efforts in promoting sustainable forestry and timber industry through certification. The Dutch market is the largest importer of certified timber products from Malaysia, accounting for about 30% of the total export of PEFC/MTCS-certified timber products. Additionally, the PEFC/MTCS-certified timber products constitute approximately 50% of the total certified tropical timber imported into the Dutch market. It is therefore envisaged that the acceptance of the MTCS will certainly contribute towards The Netherlands’ ambition of procuring at least 90% of its tropical timber imports from sustainable sources by 2020. With this acceptance, the Netherlands becomes the latest country to fully recognize the MTCS in its public procurement policy along with other countries who have previously recognized MTCS such as United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Belgium, Finland, Switzerland and Japan.  

Withdrawal of the Certificate for Forest Management of the Kelantan State FMU

The Certificate for Forest Management for the Kelantan State FMU has been withdrawn by SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd with effect from 23 November 2016. The withdrawal of the Certificate was due to the failure of Kelantan State Forestry Department in resolving satisfactorily the major non conformity raised in the surveillance audit.

With the withdrawal of the Certificate, the Kelantan State FMU is no longer a PEFC-certified FMU under the MTCS. In this connection, and as announced in our previous news item, all logs sourced from the Kelantan State FMU after 18 March (as indicated in the Removal Passes) will NOT be recognized as PEFC certified material.

However, logs originating from the Permanent Reserved Forest within the Kelantan State could qualify as PEFC Controlled Sources materials, provided that a risk based due diligence system has been implemented and the logs do not originate from forest areas cleared for conversion to other land uses.

MTCC PRESENTS ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE AWARDS TO UNDERGRADUATES

UPM and UMS Students Receive Award from MTCC for Outstanding Academic Performance

CELEBRITY PROM DRESSES

Kuala Lumpur, 28 November 2016 – Aimed at inspiring a new generation of forestry talents, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) recently presented its inaugural MTCC Academic Award to three undergraduates from two local universities.  One was from the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and two from the Faculty of Forestry, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

The MTCC Academic Award for UMS is named as the Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award, in honour of MTCC’s founding Chairman – Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom, who retired earlier this year after leading the organisation for 17 years.   

“MTCC is delighted to be collaborating and supporting local institutions of higher learning, particularly those institutions offering courses which feed young talent into the local forestry and related fields, as well as to strive for excellence in producing talents for these fields. Through the MTCC Academic Award, MTCC hopes to strengthen our link with the local universities to inspire more young people to embark on a career development in the field of forestry and its related industries,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

“The MTCC Academic Award aims to recognize the achievements of students and serves to encourage them to continue to excel even after their graduation. Besides their overall academic performance, the award winners were also judged based on the quality of their final year thesis, submitted as partial fulfilment of their course structure,” Yong added.

Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award was won by Chaw Vi Vian, 23 years old, from the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, UMS. She was presented with a certificate and RM2,000 cash prize. Meanwhile, Nur Atikah binti Abu Bakar, a Wood Science Technology student and Fatin Norliyana binti Mohamad Ismail, a Forest Science student, both from the Faculty of Forestry, UPM received a certificate and RM1,000 cash prize each.

Commenting on the award win, Chaw Vi Vian expressed. “I would like to thank my supervisor and friends for their help. Without them, it is impossible for me to produce a good thesis. As youths, we can help to conserve and protect our forest starting from ourselves. I hope that Malaysians will have a deeper awareness on the importance of conserving and protecting our environment. In my opinion, young Malaysians are able to encourage sustainable forestry by having the awareness of our environment and using more green products.”

“MTCC hopes that the award will inspire more students to take up forestry-related courses and spur them to play a greater role in promoting sustainable forestry in Malaysia. With the timber commodity being a key contributor to the nation’s dress economy, the forestry sector is still an attractive sector for graduates who are passionate about contributing towards a sustainable economy while making a positive impact on the environment and society,” Yong concluded.

The MTCC Academic Award will be an annual feature in MTCC’s activities for the next five years after which its impact and relevancy would be assessed. 

MTCC FACILITATES WORKSHOP FOR UPM FORESTRY STUDENTS

 

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An MTCC representative shares the importance of sustainable forest management with participants of the University Putra Malaysia Forestry Students Camp.

Kuala Lumpur, 14 October 2016 – Over 120 students participating in the Forestry Students Camp organised by the University Putra Malaysia (UPM) had the opportunity to learn more about the importance of sustainable forest management of Malaysian forests through timber certification from the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC).

 

“Conserving our forests is critical to ensuring sustainable human livelihood and in mitigating the growing threat of climate change. MTCC believes young people should be trained to embrace this important role of forest of while they are being trained to serve the forestry and timber sector. So, MTCC is proud to collaborate with UPM, for the second consecutive year, to inspire young forestry students to take up this challenge and support the sustainable forest management (SFM) agenda through interesting educational activities,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

 

“Today’s younger generation are a well-connected lot digitally, but they are less well-connected to the nature, as many of them grew up in the city environment. Hence the conduct of this forestry camp for the fresh forestry students is most apt in providing many of them with perhaps the first “connection” with nature. It is hoped that this experience and the subsequent 4-year course that they pursue will help them to become key ‘change agents’ to ensure future generations do not get their ‘forest experience’ by merely surfing website or through textbooks. It is also important that both education and timber industries should collaborate more to raise awareness about the importance and benefits of SFM. It is essential to ensure that all three pillars of forestry, covering the social, environmental and economic aspects, are adequately addressed to promote sustainable development,” Yong explained.

 

The annual Forestry Students Camp was held at the Sultan Idris Shah Forestry Education Centre (SISFEC) in the Ayer Hitam Forest Reserve, Puchong, and involved students who are currently pursuing a degree, majoring in forestry science, wood science and technology and parks and recreation science.

 

All participating students were given the opportunity to learn about the importance of sustainable forest management practices, as well as the important roles of various stakeholders in the MTCS stakeholder consultation process involving non-governmental organisations, forest managers, workers and the indigenous peoples.

 

Commenting on the programme hosted by MTCC, the lead co-ordinator for this year’s forestry camp, Dr Norzanalia Saadun said, “The University believes young people should be given the opportunity to learn and contribute towards sustainable forestry. Through this session, our students were exposed to the different stakeholders who are involved in sustainable forestry, and were also given opportunity to voice their views about SFM.”

 

“We value the inputs from MTCC’s guest speakers, sharing with us their experiences working with key stakeholders across the timber supply chain, from forest managers, auditors to manufacturers and exporters about SFM best practices. Our students now have a clearer idea how they could find new ways to lead the change in promoting sustainable forestry even before they graduate,” said Dr Norzanalia Saadun. 

SMART PARTNERSHIP BOOSTS FOREST MANAGEMENT

Published by Borneo Post Online

August 26, 2016, Friday

SANDAKAN: The 16th Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) Forestry Camp was launched on Tuesday at KTS Plantation Sdn Bhd (KTS) in Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve (SLFR) Forest Management Unit (FMU) 19B.

It marked another milestone for Sabah's forest industry with an innovative collaboration between the Sabah Forestry Department (SFD) , UMS and KTS.

The collaboration is the first to have three main industry players join forces to develop a comprehensive, long-term collaboration to promote and enhance the Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) agenda.

A Letter of Intent (LOI) – which prepares the parties for a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in strengthening and developing long-term research, training and academic partnerships in Sabah forestry – was signed by SFD director Datuk Sam Mannan, UMS' Prof Dr Sharil Yusof and KTS Holdings director Law Hui Kong.

The High Conservation Value Forest (HCVF) initiative was also launched with Nephentes ampularia and Toluh Waterfall declared as formal HCVF sites.

Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve (SLFR, which is managed by KTS was selected as the site for the 16th Forestry Camp based on its reputation as a role model of SFM by a private company in Sabah over the past 15 years.

 

Well-managed forest management enterprise

The SLFR models owes its success to proper planning, concept development and implementation of the Forest Management Plan, which serves as a guiding principle to plan ahead and operationalize the annual work plan.

The objectives are to manage the forest in a way that mimics natural processes for production of low volume, high quality and high priced timber.

“KTS Plantation is considered a model for the rest of the industry players when it comes to SFM. Due to its relentless commitment, perseverance, adaptability to change, pragmatic flexibility and investing in good forest governance, KTS managed to emerge as the first private company in Malaysia to be certified with both the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) and MS ISO 14001 EMS,: Sam said in his speech.

KTS would therefore be an ideal model to represent forest management enterprises in Sabah as a case study for forestry students to better understand the implementation of SFM.

 

Forest operations

Sam explained that SLFR and much of the surrounding area were virgin forest until the 1950s, when the reserve was logged several times like much of the lowland dipterocarp forest in Sabah.

It constitutes a typical example of logged forests and is, consequently, an ideal site for developing into a model for improved forest management.

In 1993, KTS was granted the licence to manage SLFR and in 1998 KTS voluntarily entered into an agreement with SFD to manage the concession area based on SFM principles, marking the first FMU to implement the Reduced Impact Logging (RIL) concept in its Industrial Tree Planting (ITP) areas.

“Together with its neighbor, the Deramakot Forest Reserve, which for part of the FMU19, SLFR is a testimony of the tangible long-term benefits of a successful SFM implementation, which is only possible with serious commitment of the top management of KTS,” Sam said.

He commended KTS Group of Companies managing director Dato Henry Lau for embracing SFM voluntarily and becoming the pioneer among private enterprise in SFM implementation in Sabah.

KTS has actively carried out the forest rehabilitation programme since 2000.

To date, over one million seedlings of various fast growing high value timber species have been planted on a cumulative area of about 4,000ha.

Other forest silviculture treatment such as climber cutting has been carried out on more than 20,000ha.

 

Conservation of flora and fauna

SLFR is one of the few areas that has the highest diversity and concentration of Rare, Threatened and Endangered (RTE) species in Sabah.

It is home to at least 75 species of mammals including Borneo pygmy elephants, orangutan and tembadau, as well as over 220 species of birds.

Through its well-formulated FMP, a comprehensive conservative approach has been employed in its operation to mitigate the impact of management activities.

As planned in the FMP, approximately three-quarters of SLFR remain undisturbed or closed to forest management activities at any given time.

This means all forest management activities (silviculture, enrichment planting, and harvesting) are focused on a small portion (2,500 ha) of the SLFR staggered over a period of 10 years, which translates to a management cycle of about 20 years.

This is planned primarily to encourage plant succession without disturbance, and at the same time, the undisturbed areas act as a sanctuary for wildlife that thrive in SLFR.

Wildlife and their habitat contiguity are ensured in the reserve to ensure their sustainability.

The launching of the two HCVF sites also marked KTS’ concerted efforts to maintain HCVF values, which is also one of the central principles in Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) Malaysian Criteria and Indicators (MC&I) Natural Forest Certification.

Toluh Waterfall, one of the many waterfalls in the area, has demonstrated successful efforts in maintaining water quality through well-planned operations and watershed protection.

The launching of the HCVF also symbolizes KTS’ commitment to watershed protection in the area.

Nepenthes ampullaria is abundant in heath forest in the southern part of SLFR and its presence also indicates the unique soil type dominated by deep podzolic soil, which extends along the wide valley of Rawog River.

Due to the unique ecosystem and landscape, the whole compartment has been gazette a Protected Area.

In 2009, a final report on evaluation of HCVF in SLFR was produced, forming the basis for management prescription for each of the values identified and leading to the conservation area of more than 6,000ha or more than 10 per cent of its total concession area.

 

Forest certification

In his welcoming speech delivered by Law, Lau lauded Sam’s leadership in transforming forest industry practices from conventional to an innovative approach, of which KTS is living testimony.

He noted that KTSP is the first private company in Malaysia certified with both MC&I (Natural Forest) for Forest Management certification and MS ISO 14001 for Environment Management System certification.

“We will continue to strive towards excellence, using these two standards to measure the management performance of the three main pillars of the SFM, ie Economic, Environmental and Social aspects. The two yardsticks will also be used to promote on-going innovations and improvements of management practices,’ said Lau.

The company has also participated in the Prime Minister’s Hibiscus Award and been conferred for Notable Achievement in Environmental Performance for the year 2008/2009.

 

16th Forestry Camp

A total of 163 UMS students are taking part in the 12-day Forestry Camp at SLFR, which started on Monday.

The camp is compulsory for third year students majoring in forestry courses namely International Tropical Forestry, Forest Plantation and Agroforestry, Nature Parks and Recreation and the Wood Technology and Industry.

It emphasises theory and practice in forestry with topics including Forest Survival, Motivation, Survey On Forest Inventory, Dendrology, Forest Management and Silviculture.

Students also learn communications skills and leadership through presentations and group assignments.

 

Shahril said the activities involve physical and mental endurance in the forest, which are necessary for participants to be foresters.

“The expectations are, upon completion of the module, students can apply their basic forestry knowledge and skills into practise, analyzing theories, applying foresters’ values and enhance communication and leadership skills among students.

“The implementation of the forestry camp, this time, is unique and is in line with the current developments, which emphasise the close cooperation and involvement of industry and other stakeholders in students’ teaching and learning, in this case, particularly with KTS Sdn Bhd and the Sabah Forestry Department as the custodian of the forest,” he said.

The learning of forestry subjects within real FMU area is a bonus, as students can interact live with the environment of well-managed forests in accordance with the SFM concept.

“I was informed that there is a special programme during this camp that is known as the ‘Forest Mentoring’. It was introduced as a session of sharing of life experience and knowledge on the SFM implementation at the FMU level, from the experts among the KTS and the Sabah Forest Department personnel, and UMS lecturers,’ he added.

“I hope the slot will be fully utilized by the students because this is an opportunity of initial introduction where students can familiarise with various forestry management activities at the FMU level.”

Lau congratulated the collective effort of SFD, UMS and KTS in ensuring the smooth running of the Forestry Camp – one of the many initiatives under the LOI signed last November.

“I am grateful to UMS for choosing Segaliud Lokan Forest Reserve, which is currently managed by KTS Plantation as their 16th Forestry Camp site.

“It is indeed an honour for KTS to host this programme as KTS is committed to ensure that students will have their best experience of forest operation managed under the SFM principles.

“I was also made to understand that a new module called the Mentoring Program is tailor-made for this 16th Forestry Camp to ensure that the students get the best practical experience and knowledge through the participation of experienced mentors from the SFD and KTS Plantation Sdn Bhd,” Lau said.

He added that the forestry industry is foreseeably moving into a very challenging phase of development, which requires a new breed of potential foresters.

Meanwhile, commenting on the signing of LOI (extension) between SFD, UMS and KTS, Law said KTS Plantation believes this is an innovative strategy to tap into the potential of competitive impact from Industry- University research collaboration.

“As we continue to challenge ourselves to be role models for others in the forestry industry to meet common challenges ahead, through combining the strength of the three parties – scientific knowledge from UMS, principles of SFM from SFD and operational experience from KTS Plantation – would make the best recipe for a successful SFM.

“Having said that, however, we must not forget that the industry needs robust, knowledgeable and competent foresters to drive the industry towards the year 2020 and beyond to implement the SFM agenda,” Law said.

For student Anthanasius Juing, 21, joining the Forestry Camp was exciting.

“This is the first opportunity for me to learn directly from the industry the practical aspects of Operations Management, Forest Engineering, Forest Nursey Management, Ecotourism and Recreation, Wildlife Management and other activities related to the implementation of SFM practices,” he said.

On the role played by KTS and SFD, Shahril said the forestry learning outcomes is also one of the main products of the SFM concepts, which has been adopted well by the Sabah state government through the SFD and FMU holders.

In such a way, this concept could be extended to the next generation to carry on the noble efforts towards the preservation and management of forests, he said.

"Therefore, UMS would like to express its gratitude to KTS Sdn Bhd and the SFD for allowing UMS students to conduct the Forestry Camp within the Segaliu Lokan Forest Reserve,” he said.

Sam, who launched the camp, advised students to take the opportunity to learn as much as they could as the collaboration would benefit them through experiencing the real environment of SLFR’s protected area.

He explained that the road to success was long with tribulations of trial and error and the lack of experience in implementing SFM but KTS managed to emerge as the first private company in Malaysia certified with both MTCS and MS ISO 14001 EMS.

Therefore, SFD is committed and confident of achieving 2.2 million ha of total protected areas in Sabah.

INAUGURAL MTCC ACADEMIC AWARD

INAUGURAL MTCC ACADEMIC AWARD 
ACKNOWLEDGING OUTSTANDING STUDENTS AND PROMOTING ACADEMIC EXCELLENCE


The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) launches its inaugural MTCC Academic Award in 2016 to recognise outstanding undergraduate students in forestry-related courses in Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) and Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS). 

“The MTCC Academic Award aims to promote academic excellence by acknowledging students who have shown outstanding performance in their specific field of study.  Through the MTCC Academic Award, we hope to strengthen our link with the two universities and besides promoting the work of the MTCC, the award will also  encourage many more students to take up forestry-related courses and spur them to pursue academic excellence,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

The award recipients will be determined based on 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. 

MTCC will be collaborating with the Faculty of Forestry, UPM and the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, UMS for its inaugural Academic Award.  The award to be conferred by UMS will be known as the Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award, in honour of the founding Chairman of MTCC Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom, who recently retired after leading the organisation for 17 years.   

For more information on this matter, kindly contact Sabrina Wu at MTCC general line 03-21612298 or email to sabrina@mtcc.com.my.

MTCC PAYS TRIBUTE TO ITS FOUNDING CHAIRMAN OF 17 YEARS

Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom Inspires A Forest-Loving Society and Champions  Sustainable Forestry Agenda

It was a day of mixed emotions as Malaysia’s forestry and timber industry fraternity paid tribute to Malaysian Timber Certification Council’s (MTCC) founding Chairman, Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom. His illustrious career as MTCC Chairman spanning 17 years culminated in a farewell and appreciation dinner gathering held on 27 July 2016 in Kuala Lumpur.  The event was graced by YB Datuk Datu Nasrun bin Datu Mansur, the Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities. 

Dato’ Dr Freezailah was appointed as the Chairman of MTCC following its establishment in 1998 as an independent organisation to develop and operate the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS). 

A true blue forester at heart, Dato’ Dr Freezailah has been instrumental in inspiring a forest-loving society through his passion and involvement in championing the sustainable forestry agenda.  His track record as a prominent thought leader in forestry spans beyond national borders to the global community. This was demonstrated through Dato’ Dr Freezailah’s appointment as the founding Executive Director of the International Tropical Timber Organisation (ITTO) from 1987 to 1999. As its Executive Director, Dato’ Dr Freezailah provided leadership and guided the growth and development of ITTO into a respected world organisation to promote the conservation, sustainable management and utilization of the world’s tropical forests.  Upon his retirement from ITTO, he pursued his passion for sustainable forest management (SFM) through his involvement as the founding Chairman of MTCC.  It was no surprise that Malaysia quickly became one of the region’s early adopters and promoters of sustainable forestry practices through the implementation of the MTCS. 

“I have enjoyed a fulfilling career in a long journey as a forester serving the Forestry Department, ITTO and the MTCC over a period which spans more than five decades. I must thank my colleagues, stakeholders and all the remarkable people who have done their utmost so that our incomparable biodiversity rich forests are sustainably managed for present and future generations. With its exemplary track record, I am confident that MTCC will continue to contribute to Malaysia’s sustainable forestry agenda,” said Dato’ Dr Freezailah.

“Dato’ Dr Freezailah’s focused approach in championing SFM is truly inspiring.  His tireless efforts have been crucial in advancing Malaysia’s sustainability initiatives in the fields of forestry and environment. Words cannot express our immense gratitude to him. His stellar legacy and exemplary passion is one that will continue to inspire the next generation of foresters,” commended the newly appointed MTCC Chairman, Datuk Himmat Singh.

“It has been a life time opportunity for me to have worked with a wise professional like Dato’ Dr Freezailah. His dynamic leadership over the past 17 years has raised MTCC and Malaysia’s profile as a recognisable force in driving responsible and sustainable forestry. As he embarks on the next phase of his life, we wish him only the best,” said MTCC CEO, Mr Yong Teng Koon.

The highlight of the celebration was the presentation of a special montage depicting a walk down memory lane of Dato’ Dr Freezailah’s journey at MTCC which was also captured in a special photobook prepared by the MTCC management. His role as MTCC Chairman concluded on a high note with the award from the Programme for the Endorsement for Forest Certification (PEFC) for the third highest increase in the number of certified companies through Chain of Custody (CoC) certification in 2015. The recognition underlined MTCC’s commitment in promoting responsible practices and the use of certified timber sourced from sustainably managed forest in Malaysia.

Dato’ Dr Freezailah earned a Bachelor of Science (Forestry) degree with First Class Honours and a PhD from the University of Edinburgh in the United Kingdom.  He is succeeded by Datuk Himmat Singh, former Secretary General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.

Evening Prom Dresses

Celebrating Malaysia’s beloved forester. (From left) MTCC Founding Chairman, Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom receiving a special commemorative photobook from Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Datu Nasrun bin Datu Mansur; as MTCC’s recently appointed Chairman, Datuk Himmat Singh; Secretary-General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk M. Nagarajan; and MTCC CEO, Mr Yong Teng Koon look on.

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Fond memories. (left) Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Datu Nasrun bin Datu Mansur, and MTCC Founding Chairman, Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom, looking through the commemorative photobook presented by MTCC as a memento to celebrate the Founding Chairman’s retirement after 17 years of service

PEFC endorses the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2

MTCC is pleased to announce that the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Plantation Management Certification or the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 has been endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) with effect from 13 June 2016.

The endorsement of this second edition of the forest plantation standard signifies the commitment of the MTCS to continuous improvement and will enable all forest plantation management units certified against the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 to enjoy international recognition and market acceptance.

PEFC International remains the only global forest certification system to limit endorsements of national systems to five years, requiring revision of the standards before a system can re-apply for endorsement. Endorsement is only granted after a comprehensive, independent third-party assessment of compliance with PEFC’s Sustainability Benchmarks.

Datuk Himmat Singh Appointed as MTCC Chairman

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) welcomes Datuk Himmat Singh as its newly appointed Chairman.

Datuk Himmat’s appointment marks another milestone for MTCC as it continues to advance and spearhead the sustainable forest management agenda in Malaysia and in the Southeast Asian region.

“We are indeed honoured to have Datuk Himmat Singh lead MTCC as he brings with him a wealth of experience. His distinguished career in the civil service spans over 35 years which includes serving as the Secretary General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities covering forestry and timber trade before he retired in December 2015. We look forward to progressing to greater heights under his leadership as the Chairman of MTCC,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

Datuk Himmat began his career in the civil service with the Ministry of Science, Technology and Environment in 1981. Subsequently, he moved to the Economic Planning Unit (EPU) under the Prime Minister’s Department, and was the Director of Environment and Natural Resources, then of Social Services, followed by Infrastructure and Utilities, and finally as Deputy Director-General of EPU.

In 2011, Datuk Himmat was appointed as the Secretary General for the Ministry of Works until July 2014, when he assumed the post of the Secretary General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities.

“Malaysia’s forest resources are a national treasure that requires responsible management if we want our future generation to continue enjoying its offerings. MTCC plays a very important role in encouraging more forest managers and timber industry players to implement sustainable forestry through a timber certification scheme. I look forward to being a part of this initiative,” said Datuk Himmat Singh.

Datuk Himmat possesses a Master’s Degree in Park Recreation Resources from the Michigan State University in the United States of America (USA), and a Bachelor of Science in Ecology from University of Malaya.

MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon, in paying tribute to the outgoing Chairman, said, “MTCC’s progress, thus far, is attributed to the astute leadership of MTCC’s outgoing Chairman, Dato' Dr. Freezailah Che Yeom. We are truly grateful for his wise counsel and invaluable contribution during his 17-year tenure as a member of the MTCC Board of Trustees. We wish him a very happy retirement."

Dato’ Dr Freezailah Che Yeom has been the Chairman of MTCC since 1999. 

Suspension of Forest Management Certificate for Kelantan State FMU

The Certificate for Forest Management issued to the Kelantan State FMU (FMC 005) against the requirements of MC&I(Natural Forest) have been suspended with effect from 18 March 2016 until further notice. SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. made this decision after the Kelantan State FMU failed to close a major Corrective Action Request (CAR) following the second surveillance audit carried out by SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. It is required that any major non-conformity raised must be adequately addressed within the given time for the FMU to maintain its certification.

In light of the above development, all logs sourced from the Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) in the Kelantan State FMU beginning 18 March 2016 (i.e. all logs accompanied by Removal Passes issued dated 18 March 2016 and onwards) will not be recognised as PEFC certified material under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS). Nevertheless, the logs originating from Kelantan State FMU can be accepted as PEFC Controlled Sources, provided that a due diligence system has been implemented and does not involve sourcing of logs from conversion areas.

Summary of First Public Comment on Review of MC&I(Natural Forest)

In line with the Process and Timelines for the Review of the MC&I(Natural Forest), the first 60-day Public Comment on the MC&I(Natural Forest) had been conducted from 16 November 2015 to 15 January 2016.  

Sixteen organisations have submitted feedback, as follows:

  1. Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM)
  2. Asiatic Organic Farm Sdn Bhd
  3. Zedtee Sdn Bhd
  4. Penang Institute
  5. Forever Sabah (LEAP)
  6. Nature, Ecology and People Consult Sdn Bhd (NEPCon)
  7. WCS – Malaysia Program
  8. WWF-Malaysia 
  9. Sabah Forestry Department
  10. Global Environment Centre (GEC)
  11. Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)
  12. Department of Irrigation and Drainage Malaysia
  13. Timberwell Bhd
  14. Malaysian Timber Council (MTC)
  15. Jabatan Tenaga Kerja Sarawak
  16. TH Plantations Bhd

Please “click” on the organisation link to view the feedback, comments and proposals submitted.

The feedback received will be tabled at the First Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) for deliberation, tentatively scheduled to be held from 12 – 14 April 2016. The SRC is the main body responsible for the review of the MC&I(Natural Forest), comprised of 15-member representatives from the environment, industry, indigenous people, worker and relevant government agencies from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.  

As the Secretariat, MTCC takes this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders for making the effort to study the MC&I(Natural Forest) and in submitting your comments and proposals.

Should you have any enquiries regarding the review process, please send an email to melvin@mtcc.com.my.

Suspension of Forest Management Certificate for Johor State FMU

The Certificate for Forest Management issued to the Johor State Forest Management Unit (FMU) (SGS-MTCS/FM-0102) against the requirements of MC&I(Natural Forest) have been suspended with effect from 1 January 2016 until futher notice. SGS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd made this decision after the Johor State FMU failed to close a major Corrective Action Request (CAR) following the re-certification audit carried out by SGS (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. It is required that any major non-conformity raised must be adequately addressed and closed-out before the FMU can be re-certified.

In light of the above development, all logs sourced from the Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) in the Johor State FMU beginning 1 January 2016 (i.e. all logs accompanied by Removal Passes issued dated 1 January 2016 and onwards) will not be recognised as PEFC certified material under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS). This suspension applies until the Major CAR is closed-out and the FMU is awarded with a new Certificate for Forest Management.

PEFC Endorsement of MC&I(Forest Plantations) Extended to 30 June 2016

Following the adoption of the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 on 19 December 2014, the standard became applicable on 1 July 2015. As announced in June 2015, the standard had been submitted for endorsement by PEFC International, while the endorsement of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) had been extended by PEFC International until 31 December 2015. In accordance with the transition plan as announced in February 2015, the application of MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 will become mandatory on 1 January 2016.

However, due to unforeseen delay in the endorsement process of the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2, MTCC is pleased to inform certificate holders and interested stakeholders that PEFC International has granted another extension on the endorsement of MC&I(Forest Plantations) until 30 June 2016, thus allowing existing forest plantation management units (FPMUs) holding MC&I(Forest Plantations) certificate and have undergone successful surveillance audits against the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 to continue to hold valid PEFC endorsed certificate. The extension of endorsement also covers the certification of any new FPMU assessed against the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2.

We are confident that the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 standard will be endorsed by the PEFC within the first half of 2016.

For further information, please contact Miss Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call +603-2161-2298.

Reminder: Review of MC&I(Natural Forest): First Public Comment (16 November 2015 – 15 January 2016)

REMINDER

Review of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest)
First Public Comment (16 November 2015 – 15 January 2016)

 

Further to our announcement dated 17 November 2015 regarding the above matter, we would like to gently remind all stakeholder groups that we are at the halfway-mark for the first public comment period for the review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) which has commenced on 16 November and will end on 15 January 2016.

Stakeholders are invited to submit their comments and/or proposals for amendment / deletion / addition on the current MC&I(Natural Forest) providing justification for your proposals, as well as your suggested wording for the proposed changes. Please submit your comments by utilising the First Public Comment Feedback Form either by e-mail to Mr Cheah Chi Ern (cheah@mtcc.com.my) or by fax to 03-2161 2293 or by post to MTCC latest by 15 January 2016.

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Miss Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call 03-2161 2298.

 


PERINGATAN

Semakan Semula Kriteria dan Petunjuk Malaysia untuk Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan (Hutan Asli)
Komen Umum Peringkat Pertama (16 November 2015 – 15 Januari 2016)

 

Lanjutan dari penguguman bertarikh 17 November 2015 tentang perkara di atas, kami ingin mengingatkan semua pihak-pihak berkepentingan bahawa kami berada di tempoh pertengahan bagi komen umum peringkat pertama untuk proses semakan semula MC&I(Hutan Asli). Proses komen umum peringkat pertama ini bermula pada 16 November dan akan tamat pada 16 Januari 2016.

Pihak-pihak berkepentingan dijemput untuk mengemukakan komen dan/atau cadangan untuk pemindaan / pengguguran / penambahan kepada MC&I(Hutan Asli) dengan memberikan komen serta cadangan bagi pindaan tersebut. Sila berikan ulasan tuan/puan dengan menggunakan Borang Maklum Balas Komen Umum Kali Pertama dan mengemukakannya melalui email kepada En Cheah Chi Ern (cheah@mtcc.com.my) atau melalui faks kepada 03-2161 2293 atau melalui pos kepada MTCC sebelum 15 Januari 2016

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai proses semakan semula standard, sila hubungi Cik Siti Syaliza Mustapha di siti@mtcc.com.my atau telefon 03-2161 2298.

MTCS-Certified Timber Enhances Market Competitiveness

MTCC Showcases PEFC-Certified Tropical Timbers And Related Products At German Timber Day 2015 and SPOGA-Gafa 2015

Timber certification is an effective tool in helping Malaysian timber and timber-related companies create a competitive market position for their products as well as improves market access and brand image. This was confirmed through the positive feedback received from both trade visitors and large retailers during Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) participation in two major trade expos held in Germany recently.

MTCC Chief Executive Officer, Yong Teng Koon explained, “The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) demonstrates not only that Malaysian tropical forests are managed sustainably, but that it also responds to the demand by international market for responsibly-sourced timber products.Certification will create better market conditions for Malaysia’s timber-based products such as plywood, pulp and paper, furniture and others. This ultimately will contribute to the economic growth of our country – while at the same time safeguarding the nation’s precious forest resources.”

According to MTCC, as a single market, the European Union is the largest consumer of timber in the world, and they are demanding environmentally and socially-responsible products such as certified tropical timber. As demand for sustainable timber grow, timber certification like the MTCS plays an instrumental role in enhancing the market competitiveness and acceptance of the MTCS-certified timber and timber products fulfilling the national government procurement policy for timber of a number of European countries.

“As the National Governing Body for the MTCS, MTCC is encouraged to learn that the government agencies, timber trade federations, businesses, and consumer groups from developed markets are confident that their selection of timber products carrying the PEFC label is a positive choice for the environment,” Yong added.

The MTCS is endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the world’s largest forest certification system. Todate, MTCS is recognised by national government procurement policies in Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand as well as recognised under the Malaysia Green Building Index and other Green Building Systems in Singapore, Australia, Italy, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, United Arab Emirates and the United States of America.

As at September 2015, Malaysia has exported a cumulative total of over 1 million cubic meters of certified tropical timber to 47 destinations all over Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South Africa, the United States (US) and Canada. Of this total, some 868,332 cubic metre or 82.93 per cent have been exported to Europe.

The German Timber Day was a bi-annual timber trade expo organized by the German Timber Trade Federation to showcase the latest developments and inventions related to the timber industry. Meanwhile, SPOGA+Gafa 2015 is Germany’s largest garden trade fair covering topics like gardening, recreation, green industry and leisure.

2015 marks the 7th time MTCC has participated in the German Timber Day exhibition to showcase and highlight the availability of Malaysian certified timber and timber-related products for Germany and the European market. Meanwhile, this was MTCC’s fifth involvement in the annual SPOGA+Gafa 2015 exhibition.

Forest Leaders Urge Governments to Take Firm Action on Climate Change

Geneva (Switzerland), 1 December 2015 – “We need a global agreement at COP 21 with clear actions and firm commitments, outlining effective pathways to address climate change,” said Ben Gunneberg, CEO of PEFC International ahead of the upcoming PEFC Forest Certification Week. “These commitments must recognize the multiple benefits of forests and encourage policies that promote sustainable forest management and the use of certified forest products. This will enable PEFC as the world’s leading forest certification system to further enhance its contribution to tackling climate change, safeguarding forest ecosystems and sustainable livelihoods.”

With the start of the 2015 Climate Conference (COP 21) in Paris, the contribution of forests to tackling climate change is high on the agenda of PEFC Forest Certification Week, the annual gathering of the world’s leading experts in sustainable forest management certification. Scheduled to coincide with COP 21, the meeting will bring together more than one hundred experts, including the heads of national forest certification systems of some forty countries.

Sustainable forest management, and the use of products certified to originate from sustainably managed forests, are considered key elements in mitigating climate change. Forests not only store carbon, but also supply wood, which itself stores carbon, and can be used as a substitute for fossil fuels and for non-renewable materials such as plastics, steel or concrete. Different from such alternative materials, wood products from sustainable forests are essentially carbon neutral: the carbon released at the end of their life cycle has previously been captured while the tree was growing.

Among the many contributions that forest certification can make to mitigating climate change, the experts will hone in on three key issues in more detail:

1. How can we further improve access to certification for the many small-, family- and community owned forests, thereby optimizing their impact whilst securing sustainable livelihoods?
2. How can we best fine-tune sustainable forest management requirements for future impacts of climate change?
3. How can we further encourage companies, governments and consumers to increase their use of certified forest products to take direct and immediate action on climate change?

“Companies, governments and consumers around the world already value the contribution that PEFC provides to protect forests and fight climate change. The recent PEFC/GfK Global Consumer Survey demonstrated that consumers want companies to label their products, and companies are increasingly adopting procurement policies that specify PEFC. Governments around the world recognize the credibility that the PEFC label provides, with most recently the UK government highlighting that PEFC has the highest level of compliance with its respective sustainability criteria,” said Mr. Gunneberg.

“In Paris, we now need firm commitments that clearly recognize the multiple benefits that sustainably managed forests provide. We need firm action that promotes the uptake of public policies promoting sustainable forest management, forest certification, and the use of certified forest products. We need to send strong signals to the private sector and consumers alike to act on their preference, to choose certified forest products over non-renewable materials, and to make a conscious choice for PEFC-certified products to ensure a more equitable sustainable future for our planet,” emphasized Mr. Gunneberg.

Review of MC&I(Natural Forest): First Public Comment (16 November 2015 – 15 January 2016)

Review of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest):
First Public Comment (16 November 2015 – 15 January 2016)

MTCC is pleased to inform you that the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest)[MC&I(Natural Forest)] is now subjected to first public comment period starting from 16 November 2015 – 15 January 2016. Stakeholders are invited to submit theircommentsits and/or proposals for amendment / deletion / addition on the current MC&I(Natural Forest) providing justification for your proposals, as well as your suggested wording for the proposed changes. Please submit your comments by utilising the First Public Comment Feedback Form either by e-mail to Mr Cheah Chi Ern (cheah@mtcc.com.my) or by fax to 03-2161 2293 or by post to MTCC latest by 15 January 2016.

Your kind cooperation and support in this matter is greatly appreciated. Thank you.


Semakan Semula Kriteria dan Petunjuk Malaysia untuk Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan (Hutan Asli):
Komen Umum Peringkat Pertama (16 November 2015 – 15 Januari 2016)

Adalah dimaklumkan bahawa Kriteria dan Petunjuk Malaysia untuk Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan (Hutan Asli) [MC&I(Hutan Asli)] sekarang dibuka untuk komen umum peringkat pertama bermula daripada 16 November 2015 – 15 Januari 2016. Pihak-pihak berkepentingan dijemput untuk mengemukakan komen dan/atau cadangan untuk pemindaan / pengguguran / penambahan kepada MC&I(Hutan Asli) dengan memberikan komen serta cadangan bagi pindaan tersebut. Sila berikan ulasan tuan/puan dengan menggunakan Borang Maklum Balas Komen Umum Kali Pertama dan mengemukakannya melalui email kepada En Cheah Chi Ern (cheah@mtcc.com.my) atau melalui faks kepada 03-2161 2293 atau melalui pos kepada MTCC sebelum 15 Januari 2016

Kerjasama dan sokongan tuan/puan dalam perkara ini amat dihargai. Sekian, terima kasih.

 

Invitation for Peer Reviewer Training Course on the MC&I for Forest Management Certification

Invitation for Peer Reviewer Training Course on the
Malaysian Criteria and Indicators (MC&I) for Forest Management Certification

 

MTCC will be organising a one-day training for peer reviewers on the requirements of the MC&I(Natural Forest) as well as the new forest plantation management certification standard, MC&I Forest Plantation.v2. The training which is opened to professionals with the relevant expertise and experience will be held on 26 November 2015 at the MTCC Office.

Under the MTCS, it is required that the stage-2 audit or recertification audit reports prepared by a certification body (CB) be reviewed by independent experts. The aim of the peer review process is to obtain a second opinion on the level of compliance of the Forest Management Unit (FMU) or the Forest Plantation Management Unit (FPMU) under audit against the requirements of the certification standards. Two peer reviewers will be involved in the review of a particular report.

The potential Peer Reviewer must meet the following criteria:

i.                    have a minimum of ten (10) years work experience in forestry or expertise related to various aspects of sustainable forest management, such as ecology, environmental sciences, biology, sociology and forest economics;
ii.                  have the necessary training and work experience to assess the adequacy of the reports submitted by the auditors. In-depth knowledge on the applicable local regulations and condition of the forest areas audited, including the forest management system being implemented, would be an advantage;
iii.                have a good understanding of the certification standards for natural forest and forest plantation management;
iv.                have not provided any consultancy services including the preparation of the forest management plan, in the three (3) years prior to the audit. For this purpose, the reviewers shall submit a list of all forestry-related consultancy projects undertaken in the past three (3) years; and
v.                  have no financial, trade or business interest in the outcome of the certification decision made for the FMU/FPMU audited.

For those qualified and interested to become peer reviewers, please fill up the peer reviewer training application form and return it to us via email or fax by or before 23 November 2015.

For enquiries and further information, please contact:

Cheah Chi Ern
E-mail  : cheah@mtcc.com.my
Tel       : 03-2161 2298
Fax      : 03-2161 2293

 

Continue reading “Invitation for Peer Reviewer Training Course on the MC&I for Forest Management Certification”

MyHIJAU Mark Product Registration for PEFC-Certified Products under MTCS

The acceptance of the MTCS under the MyHIJAU Mark Programme, enables all PEFC chain of custody (CoC) certificate holders to register their certified products for the MyHIJAU Mark.

The MyHIJAU Programme is a Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) initiative which aims to encourage the adoption of more environmentally friendly practices in the country.

This Programme includes the MyHIJAU MARK which aims to promote the sourcing as well as purchasing of goods and services that are environmentally friendly. Certified products, equipment and systems, and approved service and system providers that have been verified by GreenTech Malaysia to meet local and international environmental and ecological standards are eligible to use the MyHijau Mark and will be listed in the MyHijau Directory.

A fee of RM 1,000 will be charged to the company for the registration of the MyHIJAU Mark products and the registration can be made directly at the MyHIJAU website at www.greendirectory.my

REVIEW OF STANDARD FOR FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION OF NATURAL FOREST [MC&I(Natural Forest)]

The Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest), or in short MC&I(Natural Forest) which is the standard used for forest management certification of the natural forest under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) since July 2012 is now due for a review

According to the MTCS technical document entitled Rules on Standard Setting Process for Development of Timber Certification Standards (SSP3/2014) under the MTCS, the forest management standard used is required to be reviewed at least every five years in order to ensure continuous improvement. The review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) is scheduled to commence in the last quarter of 2015 in order for the review process to be concluded in 2017. It is anticipated that the whole review process would take 22 months and would involve the conduct of public comments on enquiry drafts, meetings of Standard Review Committee (SRC) and regional consultations.

Based on the outcome of the MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue 2015 held on 28 July, the upcoming review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) will consider merging and incorporating the requirements of the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 into a single document.

Please log on to the MTCC website at www.mtcc.com.my for further information on the following:

  1. Proposed process and timelines for the review and streamlining of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification
  2. SSP3/2014 document on Rules on Standard Setting Process for Development of Timber Certification Standards
  3. List of relevant stakeholders in Malaysia (Stakeholder Map 2015)

Please be informed that this announcement has also been communicated in writing to all the relevant stakeholder groups in Malaysia.

MTCC Seminar on Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) and Timber Certification

MTCC has been stepping up efforts locally to raise awareness among the relevant stakeholders and members of the public on the importance of SFM and timber certification.

In collaboration with the Malaysia Green Building Confederation (MGBC), MTCC held a seminar on 11 April 2015 to brief members of the MGBC, as well as representatives from selective academic institutions, timber industry and financial sector on the practice of SFM and timber certification in Malaysia.

Participants were briefed on the implementation of SFM practices in Malaysia, the development and operation of the MTCS and the independent third party auditing processes for both forest management and chain of custody certification under the MTCS, which provide the assurance that wood used in a certified product, can be traced to sustainably managed forests.

In sharing his experience as a lead auditor for forest management certification, Dr. Yap Son Kheong commented: “Over the past decade, I have seen more forest managers gaining a better understanding and appreciation of sustainable processes and adapted the sustainable practices into their operations. The change has been gradual. It is my hope that more forest managers and operators are made aware of their responsibilities towards the forest and the environment including the workers and indigenous peoples.”

New Standard for Forest Plantation Management Certification

The revised standard for forest plantation management certification, the MC&I Forest Plantation.V2 has been published and is available for download from the MTCC website.

The MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 replaces the MC&I (Forest Plantations) as the standard for forest plantation management certification with an application date of 1 July 2015 and will become mandatory on 1 January 2016.

The formulation of MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 was led by a 15-member multi-stakeholder Standards Review Committee (SRC) comprising representatives from the social (indigenous peoples and workers’ union), environmental and economic stakeholder groups, as well as the relevant government agencies from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. The review process took two years to complete, which involved the conduct of a total of four meetings of the SRC, three public comments and three regional stakeholder consultations in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur.

The MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 maintains the overall structure and content of the previous standard comprising 10 Principles, 55 Criteria and 108 Indicators.

Dutch Technical Ministerial Visits & Stakeholder Consultation on MTCS

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Second Meeting of the Malaysia – The Netehrlands Ministerial Joint Working Group Meeting (JWG) held in Kuala Lumpur

 

Following the acceptance of the MTCS under the Dutch Public Procurement Policy in June 2014 and the First Malaysia-The Netherlands Joint Working Group held in The Hague on 8 December 2014, the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment (MI&E) and Ministry of Economic Affairs (MEA) conducted a Technical visit to Malaysia from 19 to 21 January 2015.

The aim of the technical visit was to familiarize the officials of the MI&E and MEA regarding forest management certification under the MTCS, and in particular to hold consultations with the various stakeholder groups, including the certification bodies (CBs) who are involved in various processes of the MTCS.

Through the technical visit, the Dutch delegation had a better appreciation of the operation of the MTCS, and noted that the forest management audits conducted under the MTCS are similar to other certification scheme operating in Malaysia. The delegation noted that issue regarding land rights of the indigenous peoples is beyond the competence and jurisdiction of MTCC. Consultation with the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia also provided evidence that maps with detailed information on the boundaries of the Forest Management Units (FMUs) and Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) are available.

Subsequent to the Technical Visit, a ministerial visit was organised with another series of meetings with the various stakeholder groups including a field visit held from 6-7 July. These activities were held in conjunction with the Third Senior Officials Meeting (SOM) and the Second Meeting of the Malaysia – The Netherlands Ministerial Joint Working Group Meeting (JWG) held in Kuala Lumpur.

During the field visit on 6 July, the Dutch delegation led by Minister Sharon Dijksma witnessed first-hand forest management activities carried out in active and logged-over forest areas, located at the Temerloh Forest District of the Pahang Forest Management Unit (FMU).

Roundtable discussions with various stakeholder groups were also held as follows:

(i)     Indigenous peoples’ representatives from Persatuan Orang Asli Semenanjung Malaysia (POASM), Jaringan Orang             Asal Se-Malaysia (JOAS), Persatuan Orang Asli Perak (POAP) and Federation of Orang Ulu Associations, Sarawak,         Malaysia (FORUM); 

(ii)    Environmental NGOs (attended by WWF-Malaysia and Malaysian Nature Society);

(iii)   Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM); and

(iv)   Auditors from SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd.

The roundtable discussions provided insights to the Dutch delegation on matters related to the rights of indigenous peoples, conversion of forest, the availability of detailed maps at the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia and the implementation of free, prior and informed consent under the MTCS.

The Third SOM was held on 7 July, followed by the Second Meeting of the JWG which was jointly chaired by Minister Dijksma and YB Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas.  Minister Dijksma expressed that the technical and Ministerial visits; and the consultations with the various stakeholder groups; and the field trip to the Pahang FMU had provided the Dutch Ministries with the necessary information needed to arrive at a favourable political decision on the MTCS under the Dutch Procurement Policy.

 

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Photo on left, consultation with the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia; photo on right, consultation with the Indigenous peoples group

 

MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue and Appreciation Event 2015

MTCC hosted the MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue and Appreciation Event 2015 with the theme ‘Experiences Gained and the Way Forward for the MTCS’ on 28 July. The Dialogue aims to gather the perceptions, feedback and experiences of the Malaysian stakeholders regarding their involvement in the development and implementation of the MTCS; their recommendations for further improvement of the scheme; and their feedback on the proposal to streamline the MTCS standards for forest management certification. The Dialogue was concluded with an Appreciation Dinner to thank the Malaysian stakeholders for their contribution and continued support towards the work of the MTCC and the operation of the MTCS

More than 100 participants attended the Stakeholder Dialogue. They included representatives from the environmental and social interest groups; timber companies including certificate holders and timber associations; government agencies; as well as research and academic institutions.

The Dialogue was honoured to have Mr. Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General, to deliver a keynote address entitled “The Tipping Point for Asia”. Mr. Gunneberg commended MTCC’s leadership in promoting tropical timber certification, which has in turn inspired other countries in Asia such as China, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and India to pursue sustainable forest management and PEFC certification. He emphasized that well-managed forest are vital for promoting and safe guarding rural livelihoods. Additionally, he highlighted that forest certification has proven to be an important tool in addressing issues relating to deforestation, illegal logging and ensuring good forest governance.

The Dialogue was divided into two sessions. Session 1 focused on “Feedback, experiences and recommendations of stakeholders on MTCS” and was conducted in the form of a panel discussion comprising 7 panelists:

  • Puan Shashiah bt Abdul Karim, FMU Manager, Peninsular Malaysia
  • Wong Ing Yung, FMU Manager, Sarawak
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr. Ramy Bulan, Federation of Orang Ulu Association, Sarawak, Malaysia (FORUM)
  • Omar Abdul Kadir, MNS Sabah
  • Mohd. Khalid b. Atan, Timber Employees Union Peninsular Malaysia
  • Richard Anning, Carl Ronnow (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
  • Dr. Yap Son Kheong, Lead Auditor, SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd.

The session was moderated by Dr. Henry Chan from WWF Malaysia. Among the key feedback received based on the presentations, as well as from the participants during the Q&A session were as follows:

  • Forest management certification (FMC) did not result in a reasonable price premium for timber and timber products to commensurate with initiatives and activities undertaken to maintain certification
  • It is costly to produce skilled and trained manpower to implement FMC
  • The indigenous community felt that certification should have been implemented earlier and made mandatory to protect the indigenous peoples
  • One way to ensure the recognition of traditional rights of communities is to have the forest certified by independent auditors
  • There are challenges in the implementation of some social aspects related to interpretation of free prior and informed consent (FPIC) and worker rights under the ILO Conventions
  • MTCS is more suited to state-wide FMU
  • There is a need for information in the Removal Passes (RP) to be clearly presented

Among the key recommendations made were:

  • Give incentives to encourage Forest Management Units (FMUs) to maintain their FMC
  • Explore the possibility of implementing FMC at the operator level
  • Conduct outreach programmes to increase awareness of FMC and SFM
  • Be pragmatic and have a logical framework in developing MC&I
  • Have a stricter control for forest conversion to other land-uses e.g. Latex timber clone plantation
  • Have a more transparent process in determining the High Conservation Value (HCV) areas prior to demarcation                                                   
  • Train certification bodies and auditors on the requirements of ILO Conventions
  • Ensure the information contained in the removal passes are clear and precise
  • Provide dedicated personnel at FMU or MTCC to handle enquiries on information recorded on removal passes
  • Ensure FMU management have a better understanding of the requirements of the MC&I

Session 2 focused on “Streamlining Standards for Forest Management Certification under the MTCS.” It involved two presentations: i) ‘Proposed Process and Timelines for the Review of MC&I(Natural Forest)’ which highlights the key activities that would be conducted during the 2-year review process; and
ii) ‘Proposal for Merging the Natural Forest and Forest Plantation Standards’ which was presented by, the consultant, Mr. Chew Lye Teng. Mr. Chew was appointed to undertake the consultancy to explore the possibility of merging the two forest management certification standards currently used under the MTCS. He concluded that the two standards can be merged into a single document as approximately 85% of the Indicators have Verifiers which are common to both natural forest and forest plantation. The presentation also highlighted the benefits of merging the two standards particularly in terms of saving of time, human and financial resources of all parties involved in the standard review process. The dialogue concluded with the stakeholders in agreement that the two certification standards could be merged and streamlined into a single document in the upcoming review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) standard.

In conjunction with the Dialogue, an appreciation dinner was held to express our gratitude to all the Malaysian stakeholders for their significant contributions and continued support to the MTCS process. The Dinner was graced by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Y. Bhg. Datuk Himmat Singh. The highlight for the evening was a video presentation documenting the involvement and contribution of the Malaysian stakeholders in the development and operation of the MTCS, and the presentation of Certificate of Appreciation and mementos to Members of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) who were involved in the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations).

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From top right, clockwise: Session 1 – Panel discussion; Session 2 – Q&A session; Y. Bhg. Dato’ Dr. Freezailah Che Yeom, Chairman of MTCC presenting a souvenir to Y. Bhg. Datuk Himmat Singh; Secretary General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities; Ben Gunneberg presenting his keynote address

Farewell to Mr Harnarinder Singh

MTCC announces the retirement of Mr Harnarinder Singh on 30 September 2015, after having served the organisation in a Senior Manager position for more than 15 years.

Mr Harnarinder joined MTCC on 1 September 2000 as Senior Manager (PR/Marketing) when the organisation was at its infancy stage.  Mr Harnarinder was responsible for planning and implementing MTCC’s promotional and publicity programmes up till 2008 when he was tasked to lead the Chain of Custody Unit as Senior Manager (Product).  It is without a doubt that Mr Harnarinder has contributed significantly to the growth and development of the MTCC as a respectable organisation, and the operation of the MTCS as an internationally recognised forest certification scheme.

On behalf of the MTCC Board and management, we would like to thank Mr Harnarinder for his tremendous contributions to MTCC.  Although we will greatly miss him, we are happy for him and wish him well in his new role as the Chief Executive Officer of the new Malaysian Palm Oil Certification Council.  

Announcement: Review of the MC&I(Natural Forest)

Announcement on the Review of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest) [MC&I(Natural Forest)]

The Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest), or in short MC&I(Natural Forest) which is the standard used for forest management certification of the natural forest under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) since July 2012 is now due for a review.

According to the MTCS technical document entitled Rules on Standard Setting Process for Development of Timber Certification Standards (SSP3/2014), the forest management standard used is required to be reviewed at least every five years in order to ensure continuous improvement. It is anticipated that the entire review process would take 22 months and would involve the conduct of public comments on enquiry draft, meetings of Standards Review Committee (SRC) and regional consultations. The review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) is expected to be concluded in 2017.

Based on the outcome of the MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue 2015 held on 28 July, the upcoming review of the MC&I(Natural Forest) will consider merging and incorporating the requirements of the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 into a single document.

Please find below the links to the letters sent out on 8 October 2015 to stakeholders by region as follows:

  1. Letter to Stakeholders in Sabah
  2. Letter to Stakeholders in Sarawak
  3. Letter to Stakeholders in Peninsular Malaysia

We would appreciate any comment and suggestion on the (i) Proposed Process and Timelines for Review of the MC&I and Streamlining of Forest Management Certification Standards and (ii) Identified Stakeholders by Interest Groups. Kindly provide your comments and suggestions by filling up the “Stakeholder Comment Form” and submit it to Mr. Cheah Chi Ern by email (cheah@mtcc.com.my) or by fax 03-2161 2293 by 8 November 2015. Please be informed that this announcement has been communicated by e-mail/and post to all the relevant stakeholder groups in Malaysia as per listed.

 


 

Pengumuman Semakan Semula Kriteria dan Petunjuk Malaysia bagi Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan (Hutan Asli) [MC&I(Hutan Asli)]

Kriteria dan Petunjuk Malaysia bagi Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan (Hutan Asli) atau secara ringkasnya MC&I(Hutan Asli), adalah merupakan standard yang digunakan untuk pensijilan pengurusan hutan asli di bawah Skim Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCS) sejak bulan  Julai 2012 dan kini perlu disemak semula.

Menurut Peraturan Proses Penetapan Standard untuk Membangunkan Standard Pensijilan Kayu (Rules on Standard Setting Process for Development of Timber Certification Standards) (SSP3/2014) di bawah MTCS, suatu standard pengurusan hutan perlu disemak semula dalam tempoh tidak melebihi 5 tahun untuk penambahbaikan yang berterusan. Proses ini dijangka mengambil masa 22 bulan untuk dimuktamadkan, dan akan melibatkan konsultasi umum pada draf pertanyaan, mesyuarat Jawatankuasa Semakan Semula Standard (SRC), dan rundingan peringkat serantau. Semakan semula MC&I(Hutan Asli) dijangka dimuktamadkan dalam tahun 2017.

Berdasarkan keputusan Dialog Pihak Berkepentingan MTCC (MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue) yang telah diadakan pada 28 Julai, semakan standard MC&I(Hutan Asli) ini akan turut memberi pertimbangan untuk  menggabungkan dan menyeragamkan keperluan MC&I(Ladang Hutan) sebagai satu dokumen.

Tertera di bawah adalah pautan kepada surat yang dihantar pada 8 Oktober 2015 kepada pihak berkepentingan mengikut rantau seperti berikut:

  1. Surat kepada Pihak Berkepentingan di Sabah
  2. Surat kepada Pihak Berkepentingan di Sarawak
  3. Surat kepada Pihak Berkepentingan di Semenanjung Malaysia

Kami sangat menghargai komen dan cadangan mengenai (i) Cadangan Proses dan Rangkawaktu bagi Semakan Semula MC&I(Hutan Asli) dan Penyelarasan Standard Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan dan (ii) Pihak Berkepentingan yang Dikenalpasti mengikut Kumpulan Kepentingan. Sila berikan komen dan cadangan anda dengan mengisi “Borang Komen Pihak Berkepentingan” dan menyerahkan kepada En Cheah Chi Ern melalui e-mel (cheah@mtcc.com.my) atau melalui faks 03-2191 2293 sebelum 8 November 2015. Harap maklum bahawa pengumuman ini telah dihantar kepada semua pihak berkepentingan yang berkaitan di Malaysia seperti yang disenaraikan melalui e-mel dan pos.

Sustainable Forestry Vital For Malaysia’s Green Economy

Industries and consumers at large are increasingly aware of their role in opting for sustainable product alternatives in support of Malaysia’s green economy. The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) believes the nation’s green economy can benefit further from a two-pronged strategy which includes growing the demand for certified wood products locally and the export of certified tropical timber.

“The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) is a country-driven initiative and a national commitment towards ensuring sustainable forest management (SFM). Due to the export-oriented nature of the timber industry, MTCS is also a market-driven scheme. We believe it is equally important to nurture the domestic market’s demand for sustainable timber in tandem with higher income levels and greater awareness of social and environmental issues,” explains MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

To ensure the sustainability of our forests, industries whose operations involve wood-based products such as property developers, furniture manufacturers, paper and pulp and packaging companies, are encouraged to consider sourcing materials from sustainably managed forests. This is where the MTCS plays a vital role in linking the upstream and the downstream sectors through forest management certification and chain of custody certification respectively.

Since its implementation in 2001, a total of 4.66 million ha of forest areas and 349 timber companies have been certified under the MTCS. The scheme ensures that timber products manufactured and sold by the certified companies are sourced from MTCS-certified forests. The MTCS achieved international recognition in 2009 when it was endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), which is the largest forest certification system in the world. The endorsement allows the MTCS-certified products to carry the PEFC logo in the international market.

“We are indeed pleased that the PEFC-endorsed MTCS has been recognised by procurement policies in Denmark, United Kingdom, Germany, Finland, Belgium, Switzerland, France, the Netherlands and New Zealand as well as recognised under the Malaysian Green Building Index and other Green Building Systems such as in Singapore, Australia and the United States”, commented Yong. “The PEFC-endorsement also serves as a unique selling point to attract increasingly discerning and environmentally conscious consumers with the certified companies enjoying greater market access for their timber products,” Yong added.

The timber industry is one of the major contributors to the nation's export earnings, accounting for 17.5 per cent of the total export earnings by the commodity sector and 2.7 per cent of the country's total export earnings. In 2014, exports of timber and timber products were the third most important commodity after palm oil and rubber. As at 1 April 2015, Malaysia has exported a cumulative total of over 1 million cubic meters of certified tropical timber to 47 destinations all over Asia Pacific, the Middle East, Europe, South Africa, the United States (US) and Canada. 

MTCC will be participating in the International Greentech and Eco Products Exhibition and Conference Malaysia (IGEM 2015) which will be held from 9 to 12 September 2015 at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Centre, booth number 3015. IGEM is in its 6th series, and its goal is to position Malaysia as a Green Technology Hub for the ASEAN Region. Yong encouraged companies dealing in wood-based products to visit the MTCC booth at IGEM 2015 to learn more about the MTCS and its benefits.

MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue 2015 – MTCC Instrumental in Inspiring Forest Certification in Asia

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) has been instrumental in inspiring forest certification development in Asia, said Ben Gunneberg, the CEO and Secretary General of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) at MTCC’s Stakeholder Dialogue 2015 which was held recently in Kuala Lumpur.

Gunneberg emphasised that well‐managed forests are vital for promoting and safeguarding rural livelihoods, and forest certification has proven to be an important tool in addressing issues related to deforestation, illegal logging and ensuring good forest governance.

Gunneberg further commended MTCC’s leadership in promoting tropical timber certification, which has in turn inspired other countries in the South East Asia region, such as China, Indonesia, Philippines, South Korea, Japan, Thailand and India to pursue sustainable forest management and PEFC certification.       

“MTCC has come a long way since 1999. We currently have 4.66 million hectares of forest areas certified for sustainability. We are proud that tropical timber products certified under the MTCS are exported to 45 countries globally, with an accumulative volume of more than one million cubic meters. We have made steady progress over the past 14 years since the scheme was launched in 2001,” said MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.

Timber certification is one of the effective measures to ensure forests are managed in a way that is environmentally sound, socially acceptable and economically viable. Sustainable forest management also ensures that future generations can continue to enjoy and benefit from the rich forest resources that we have.

“The MTCS would not have materialised and progressed without the support and involvement of the stakeholders in the country. The milestones achieved over the years are a testament of the close cooperation and contributions of all the stakeholders in the development and implementation of the scheme,” Yong explained.

The Stakeholder Dialogue was attended by more than 100 stakeholder representing the environmental and social interest groups; timber companies including certificate holders and timber associations; government agencies; as well as research and academic institutions.

Themed ‘Experiences Gained and the Way Forward for the MTCS’, the dialogue provided an open forum for stakeholders to share their feedback and experiences regarding the implementation of the MTCS, including recommendations for further improvement of the scheme.

Following a presentation by MTCC on Experiences in the Implementation of the MTCS, the stakeholders engaged in a panel discussion with panellists representing the various interest groups who have earlier made presentations on their experiences regarding the MTCS. The dialogue concluded with the stakeholders deliberating on streamlining the two separate certification standards for forest management certification of natural forest and forest plantation.

In conjunction with the dialogue and to express gratitude for the stakeholders’ contributions and continued support, MTCC also hosted an appreciation dinner which was graced by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Himmat Singh.

Datuk Himmat Singh applauded MTCC and its diverse stakeholders for playing a significant role in implementing and promoting sustainable forestry in Malaysia. The Malaysian Government is committed to work with all stakeholders to ensure the country’s forests will be managed in a sustainable manner to take into account the environmental, social and economic benefits they provide.

 “MTCC greatly appreciates the invaluable support and contributions of all our partners. We are confident in continuing to forge a sustainable way forward in partnership with our stakeholders for the benefit of both the present and future generations,” said Yong.

MTCC Shareholders' Dialogue & Appreciation Dinner

Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General & CEO of PEFC (left), Yong Teng Koon, CEO of MTCC (centre), Y. Bhg, Dato Dr. Freezailah, Chairman of MTCC at the MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue 2015

Photo 1Y. Bhg. Dato’ Dr. Freezailah Che Yeom, Chairman of MTCC presenting a souvenir  to Y. Bhg. Datuk Himmat Singh,Secretary General of the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities while Mr. Yong Teng Koon, CEO of MTCC looks on at the MTCC Appreciation Dinner

More photographs of the MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue 2015 can be viewed HERE and the MTCC Appreciation Dinner HERE 

MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue 2015 & Appreciation Dinner

MTCC will be organising the MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue 2015 & Appreciation Dinner which will be held on 28 July 2015 (Tuesday) at the Renaissance Hotel, Kuala Lumpur.

The MTCC Stakeholder Dialogue 2015 with the theme: Experiences Gained and the Way Forward for the MTCS, aims to encourage an open exchange to gather the feedback and experiences of the Malaysian stakeholders regarding the implementation of the MTCS, including their recommendations for further improvement of the scheme.

The one-day Dialogue event will feature a Keynote Address by the Secretary General of PEFC International, a presentation by MTCC to be followed by two interactive sessions. Session One (1) will be conducted in the form of a panel discussion with a line-up of seven panelists representing the various stakeholder interests under the MTCS. As for Session Two (2), there will be deliberation on the proposal by MTCC to streamline the standards for forest management certification under the MTCS.

The Dialogue is envisaged to bring together Malaysian stakeholders who are involved in the MTCS processes, encompassing stakeholders representing the environmental and social interest groups, timber companies including certificate holders and timber associations, government agencies and research & academic institutions.

In conjunction with the Dialogue, and to appreciate the contribution and continued support of the Malaysian Stakeholders, an Appreciation Dinner will be hosted at 07.00 p.m. on the same day.

Both events are free of charge. Anyone who is interested to join, kindly contact Ms. Sabrina (sabrina@mtcc.com.my  / mobile no. 016-2091979) or Mr. Ou Wei Wen (wen@mtcc.com.my  /mobile no. 017-5542052) to register.

Dialogue 1

Dialogue 2

Dinner 1

PEFC Endorsement of MC&I(Forest Plantations) Extended

PEFC has granted extension of the endorsement validity of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) until 31 December 2015. This is to allow for a smooth transition to the new standard MC&I Forest Plantation.v2, which application would become mandatory on 1 January 2016 for the certification of forest plantation management.

MTCC is currently in the process of obtaining PEFC endorsement of the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2. For further information on the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 or the PEFC endorsement, please contact Ms Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call +603-2161-2298.

MTCC DISMISSES ‘CAT’ REPORT PUBLISHED BY WWF GLOBAL

Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) dismisses the results in the WWF’s Forest Certification Assessment Tool (CAT) report released on 18th May 2015 as part of a series of measures taken by WWF to promote its own founded Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) scheme, rather than responding to the wider societal interest of promoting sustainable forest management.

MTCC was approached by WWF to participate in the WWF CAT assessment in late 2013 and made to understand that the CAT is a set of guiding indicators developed by WWF to assess and evaluate the various and varying certification schemes and standards globally.

MTCC declined participation after noting that WWF would be assessing the PEFC International’s scheme. As a PEFC-endorsed scheme, MTCC chose to focus the limited resources that it has into efforts on implementing and improving the scheme.

Moreover, MTCC has reservation that the CAT which was developed based purely on WWF’s criteria and indicators (C&I) and ISEAL’s requirements, which in MTCC’s opinion has inbuilt flaws and biasness that would determine an outcome in favour of the FSC. The CAT, at the very outset discriminates against non-ISEAL members, such as the PEFC and the MTCS, which subscribe to the IAF accreditation processes. MTCC also questioned the motive behind the MTCS being the only national scheme to be assessed and Malaysia being singled out as the country in the study.

Notwithstanding the above, MTCC regrets that WWF proceeded to assess the MTCS and published the outcome of the study without any verification to support the assessment. MTCC questions the integrity of this report which was intentionally designed to favour the FSC scheme and discriminate against other schemes, and hence has failed to guarantee no biasness in the assessment process.

MTCC strongly believes that there is no ‘one-size fits all’ solution to global sustainability issues, especially on matters that are as complex and delicate relating to land and forest management, against the need for socio-economic development.

Following the publication of the WWF CAT Assessments on WWF’s website, MTCC has issued a press release in The Netherlands on MTCC’s position regarding the CAT assessment result. To read about the press release, please click here: Press Release – MTCC Publishes its View on CAT Report

MyHIJAU Mark Product Registration for PEFC-Certified Products under MTCS

The MTCS has recently been accepted under the MyHIJAU Mark Programme, which will enable all PEFC chain of custody (CoC) certificate holders under the MTCS to register their certified products for the MyHIJAU Mark. 

The MyHIJAU Programme is an initiative of the Malaysian Green Technology Corporation (GreenTech Malaysia) to promote the sourcing of green technology products and services in Malaysia. Its aim is to encourage the adoption of environmentally friendly practices in the country, while catalyzing the growth of Malaysia's green economy.

The MyHIJAU Programme consists of the MyHIJAU MARK which registers certified products, equipment and systems, and approved service and system providers that have been verified by GreenTech Malaysia to meet local and international environmental and ecological standards and which will be listed in the MyHIJAU Directory, accessible online from GreenTech Malaysia's website, www.greentechmalaysia.my.

A fee of RM 1,000 will be charged for the registration of the MyHIJAU Mark products and registration can be made directly via MyHIJAU website at www.greendirectory.my

New Standard for Forest Plantation Management Certification Published

Following the review process of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) that had taken two years to complete, it is with pleasure that the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) announces the publication of the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 which will replace the MC&I(Forest Plantations) as the standard for forest plantation management certification. The revision of the standard was based on international requirements and the standard setting process for the development of certification standards under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).

The formulation of MC&I Forest Plantation.v2 was led by a 15-member multi-stakeholder Standards Review Committee (SRC) comprising representatives from the indigenous peoples, workers union, environmental and economic stakeholder groups, as well as relevant government agencies from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. A total of four SRC meetings, three public comments and three regional stakeholder consultations one each in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur had been conducted.

The revised standard, MC&I Forest Plantation.v2, maintains the overall structure and content of the previous version. The standard contains 10 Principles, 55 Criteria and 108 Indicators, with the inclusion of three additional Indicators. The standard can be downloaded here.

MTCC is currently in the process of obtaining PEFC endorsement of this standard. It is anticipated that PEFC endorsement could be received prior to the application date of the standard i.e. 1 July 2015. The transition plan for the application of the new standard can be downloaded here. For further information on the MC&I Forest Plantation.v2, please contact Ms Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call +603-2161 2298.

Announcement: Training Session on Use of PEFC CoC Standard

MTCC, in collaboration with PEFC International, will be organising a training session for Certification Bodies on the use of the PEFC ST 2002:2013. The training session will be held as follows:

Date                 : 27 – 28 January 2015 (Tuesday & Wednesday)

Venue              : Mahkota Hotel, Melaka

The training session will be conducted by Mr. Johan Vlieger (Technical Officer) from PEFC International. All auditors are encouraged to attend this two-day training session to acquire a better understanding of the revised PEFC CoC standard, while fulfill the training requirement as stipulated in the PEFC ST 2003:2012 Second Edition document (para 6.1.1.2.2) and become eligible to undertake audits against the PEFC ST 2002:2013 standard.

Please be informed that a training fee of RM1000.00 (Ringgit Malaysia: One Thousand Only) will be charged per participant to cover the cost of training materials, lunch and tea breaks. 

If interested, please email to Ms. Sabrina Mawasi at sabrina.mawasi@mtcc.com.my. Payment can be made either by cheque / money order / postal order ‘Malaysian Timber Certification Council’. For further information on this training session, please do not hesitate to contact us.

 

Summary of Third Public Comment on Enquiry Draft 3 of Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations)

The Review of Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) [MC&I(Forest Plantations)] that commenced in January 2013 has entered the final stage of the review process with the completion of the 60-day third public comment on Enquiry Draft 3, conducted from 25 July to 22 September 2014. Stakeholders had been invited to submit comments and inputs on the Enquiry Draft 3, which was the result of the Third Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) held from 7 – 9 July 2014 in Kota Kinabalu.

At the end of the comment period, comments and proposals were received from eight (8) organisations, as follows:

1.   Malaysian Wood Industries Association (MWIA)

2.   Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Sabah

3.   WWF-Malaysia

4.   Sarawak Forestry Corporation

5.   Sabah Forestry Department

6.   WCS-Malaysia Programme

7.   Forestry Department of Peninsular Malaysia

8.   United Sabah Dusun Association

 

The compilation of comments can be viewed here.

The comments and proposals received will be tabled for consideration at the Fourth Meeting of the SRC scheduled to be held from 29 – 31 October 2014. The fourth and final meeting of the SRC will finalise the revised standard for certification of forest plantation and conclude the revision process.

As the Secretariat of the SRC, MTCC takes this opportunity to thank all stakeholders for participating in the review process. Subsequent to the fourth meeting of the SRC, the revised standard will be tabled for adoption at the MTCC Board of Trustees Meeting in December 2014.

 

Reminder: Third Public Comment (60-day) on Enquiry Draft 3 – Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations)

ANNOUNCEMENT REMINDER

REVIEW OF THE MALAYSIAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION (FOREST PLANTATIONS) [MC&I(FOREST PLANTATIONS)]

 

THIRD PUBLIC COMMENT (60-DAY)

(Comment Period: 25 July – 22 September 2014)

 

This is a gentle reminder that we are half-way through the third 60-day public comment period for the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) which commenced on 25 July and will end on 22 September 2014.

We look forward to receive any comments that you may have on the Enquiry Draft 3 and would appreciate if you could submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 03-2161 2293 or post to the following address by 22 September 2014:

Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue 2
12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Miss Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call 03-2161 2298.

 

Thank you.

Global Recognition of MTCS Continues

 

PRESS RELEASE

PEFC International has announced the re-endorsement of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) for another period of 5 years.

The re-endorsement of MTCS means that the scheme has passed the most stringent test and continues to meet the PEFC strict international Sustainability Benchmarks. The re-endorsement is an attestation of the robustness of the MTCS. It further reaffirms and recognises the efforts taken by the stakeholders in Malaysia towards achieving sustainable forest management (SFM) and that the forests certified under the MTCS are being managed responsibly   in line with globally recognized best practice requirements.

PEFC International requires all national schemes to revise their certification standards every five years. The revision ensures that any latest developments in PEFC requirements, new scientific information, practical experience gained in the field as well as the expectations and aspirations of society towards SFM are considered and implemented as part of PEFC’s commitment to continuous improvement.

"We congratulate MTCC for successfully completing the rigorous third-party assessment of the MTCS by an independent assessor and for achieving the re-endorsement of the scheme", said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General.

MTCC CEO Yong Teng Koon expressed great satisfaction that the tremendous work which MTCC had invested in the revision of the MTCS documentation has been duly rewarded. He said: "Compliance with the PEFC requirements is of utmost importance to us as it demonstrates that the MTCS continues to meet and comply with stringent international standards”. He attributed the achievement to the valuable contribution and active engagement by the relevant stakeholders, coupled by the dedication and support of the MTCC staff. He further added that “MTCC will continue to proactively seek dialogue with, and involvement from, all the interested parties to ensure that the certification standards meet the expectations of all and positively contribute to the sustainable development and implementation of the scheme."

For more information please log on to www.pefc.org  

END OF PRESS RELEASE

Guidelines for the Interpretation of Requirements in the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest) [MC&I(Natural Forest)]

Being a PEFC-endorsed scheme, the MTCS that is operated by MTCC is required to undergo assessment for re-endorsement after a period of five years.  Hence, in early August 2013, MTCC submitted the MTCS documents to the PEFC Council for the purpose of assessment for the re-endorsement of the MTCS.

As a result of the assessment, the independent consultant appointed by the PEFC Council had raised minor non-conformities for the MC&I(Natural Forest) standard, whereby compliance could be achieved by developing and issuing an interpretation guidance without making any changes to the standard.

This interpretation guidance aims to provide added clarity to ensure consistency in the interpretation of the requirements of some of the Criteria and Indicators of the standard, covering aspects relating to:

(i)        Criterion 1.3 pertaining to all binding international agreements applicable to forest management;

(ii)       Criterion 6.6 pertaining to the prohibition in the use of chemical pesticides banned by international agreements;

(iii)      Criterion 6.10 pertaining to occurrence of forest conversion to plantations or non-forest land uses; and

(iv)       the rights of indigenous peoples with regard to the interpretation of “within the relevant federal, state and local laws” and the term “free, prior and informed consent” covering a number of Criteria and Indicators in the standard.

The guidance document GD-NF 2/2014 – Guidelines for the interpretation of requirements in MC&I(Natural Forest) was approved by the MTCC Board on 6 June 2014.  The Board is made up of members that represent the various stakeholder interest groups in Malaysia, including the environmental and social NGOs, workers unions, timber associations, government agencies, and research and academic institutions.

The GD-NF 2/2014, which forms an integral part of the MC&I(Natural Forest) standard has to be complied by the FMU manager undergoing forest management certification under the MTCS.

Click HERE to download the guideline.

Third Public Comment (60-day) on Enquiry Draft 3 – Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations)

ANNOUNCEMENT

REVIEW OF THE MALAYSIAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION (FOREST PLANTATIONS) [MC&I(FOREST PLANTATIONS)]

 

THIRD PUBLIC COMMENT (60-DAY)

 

(Comment Period: 25 July – 22 September 2014)

 

Three Regional Stakeholder Consultations on Enquiry Draft 2 on the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) were conducted in Kuching (8 April), Kota Kinabalu (10 April) and Kuala Lumpur (15 April 2014).

Comments and feedback received from the stakeholders were considered by the Third Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) held in Kota Kinabalu on 7 – 9 July 2014, resulting in the formulation of Enquiry Draft 3 incorporating changes made at the meeting. The decisions of the SRC on the comments received from the three consultations are tabled in this document.

In accordance with the Process and Proposed Timelines for the Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations), the Enquiry Draft 3 will now be subjected to a third and final 60-day public comment period beginning from 25 July to 22 September 2014.

In this connection, the Secretariat would like to invite you to provide your comments and/or proposals on Enquiry Draft 3, as per the following proposed format:

 

Principle / Criterion / Indicator / Verifier

Proposal for amendment / deletion / addition

Reasons for proposed amendment / deletion / addition

Proposed wording for amendment / addition

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Comments and feedback received on Enquiry Draft 3 will be considered by the Fourth Meeting of the SRC scheduled to be held in October 2014.

We would greatly appreciate if you could submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 603-2161 2293 or post to the following address before or by 22 September 2014:

Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue 2
No. 12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
(Attention: Ms Siti Syaliza Mustapha)

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Ms Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call +603-2161 2298.

Printed copies of the Enquiry Draft 3 will only be circulated to Stakeholders that have not provided us with an e-mail address/do not have access to e-mail facility. Nevertheless, please let us know should you require the printed copy of the document be mailed to you.

Compilation of Comments Received from Regional Stakeholder Consultations on Enquiry Draft 2 – Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations)

REGIONAL STAKEHOLDER CONSULTATION ON THE
REVIEW OF THE MALAYSIAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION (FOREST PLANTATIONS) [MC&I(FOREST PLANTATIONS)]

 

Three Regional Stakeholder Consultations on Enquiry Draft 2 of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) were conducted in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur on 8 April, 10 April and 15 April 2014 respectively. A total of 126 stakeholders representing the social (indigenous peoples and worker union), environmental and economic interest groups, and relevant government agencies attended the regional stakeholder consultations.

The Regional Stakeholder Consultations were held to obtain further comments and feedback from the stakeholders on the Enquiry Draft 2, as well as for the Secretariat and Members of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) of the respective region to provide updates and clarification on the standard review process.

As a result of the regional consultations, numerous recommendations and proposals were received on the Enquiry Draft 2, with the key proposal being to streamline the requirements of Principle 10 by incorporating them into the corresponding requirements of Principle 1 to 9 of the MC&I(Forest Plantations).

The Secretariat of the SRC would like to thank all stakeholders who have attended and provided their comments and inputs during the Regional Consultations held in the three regions. The comments and proposals received from the stakeholders have been compiled and will be considered by the SRC at its Third Meeting scheduled to be held from 7 – 9 July 2014 in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Send us an e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my should you wish to be included in our mailing list and receive updates on the review process.

 


 

PERUNDINGAN PERINGKAT SERANTAU

SEMAKAN SEMULA KRITERIA DAN PETUNJUK MALAYSIA BAGI PENSIJILAN PENGURUSAN HUTAN (LADANG HUTAN) [MC&I(LADANG HUTAN)]

 

Tiga Perundingan Peringkat Serantau ke atas Draf Pertanyaan 2 bagi MC&I(Ladang Hutan) telah diadakan di Kuching, Kota Kinabalu dan Kuala Lumpur masing-masing pada 8 April, 10 April dan 15 April 2014. Seramai 126 peserta yang mewakili pihak berkepentingan dari kumpulan sosial (orang asli dan kesatuan pekerja), alam sekitar dan ekonomi serta agensi-agensi kerajaan yang berkaitan telah menghadiri perundingan tersebut.

Perundingan tersebut telah diadakan untuk mendapatkan komen lanjut dan maklumbalas daripada pihak berkepentingan mengenai Draf Pertanyaan 2 serta memberi peluang kepada pihak berkepentingan untuk mendapatkan maklumat terkini dan penjelasan lebih lanjut berkenaan proses semakan semula standard daripada Sekretariat serta Ahli-ahli Jawatankuasa Semakan Semula Standard (SRC) dari kawasan masing-masing.

Hasil daripada perundingan serantau yang diadakan, beberapa cadangan telah diterima daripada pihak berkepentingan dengan cadangan utama ialah menggabungkan keperluan Prinsip 10 dengan keperluan-keperluan Prinsip 1 hingga 9 yang sepadan di dalam MC&I(Hutan Ladang).

Sekretariat SRC mengucapkan terima kasih kepada semua pihak berkepentingan yang telah menghadiri dan memberi komen serta cadangan semasa Perundingan Peringkat Serantau yang telah diadakan. Komen-komen dan cadangan yang diterima daripada pihak-pihak berkepentingan telah digabung dan akan dipertimbangkan oleh SRC pada Mesyuarat Ketiga yang akan diadakan pada 7 – 9 Julai 2014 di Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.

Sila e-mel kami di info@mtcc.com.my jika anda ingin menyertai senarai e-mel kami dan menerima maklumat terkini mengenai proses semakan semula standard.

Relief and Disbelief in Malaysia on MTCS-Acceptance

PRESS RELEASE

KUALA LUMPUR 23 June: The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) welcomes the long overdue acceptance of the already PEFC-endorsed Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) under the Dutch government’s public procurement policy for timber.   This decision allows the timber and construction industry in the Netherlands to use PEFC-certified timber under the MTCS for Dutch public procurement projects. There is however also disbelief that the acceptance by the Dutch government is only temporary, in spite of the intended full acceptance agreed upon three years ago.

Yong Teng Koon, CEO of MTCC: ‘We are relieved that the Malaysian efforts in the field of sustainable forest management opens the Dutch government market for MTCS certified timber. However, we are also concerned that our timber will be treated as less sustainable.” The Dutch Ministry for Infrastructure and the Environment classifies MTCS as ‘not fully meeting the TPAS criteria’, thereby continuing to show differential treatment for the MTCS. Yong: “As a valued member of PEFC International and as a scheme accepted by all five EU Member States with active sustainable procurement policies, MTCS has proved to meet internationally accepted and recognised sustainability requirements of PEFC International.’

MTCC considers the recent visit of the Dutch State Secretary for Economic Affairs, Her Excellency Mrs. Sharon Dijksma to Malaysia on 12 June 2014 as an important step towards the full and unconditional acceptance of the MTCS following a constructive bilateral meeting with her Malaysian counterpart His Excellency Minister Douglas Uggah Embas from the Malaysian Ministry for Plantation Industries and Commodities.  State Secretary Dijksma’s scheduled visit to a MTCS-certified forest on 13 June also provided her the opportunity to witness the implementation of sustainable forest management practices in Malaysia, including  the opportunity to study detailed maps of the MTCS certified forests. 

The Dutch Cabinet had specifically requested the Parliament to recognize the role and responsibility of the international umbrella organization PEFC International which is currently reassessing the MTCS under the new PEFC meta-standards. The outcome of the review is expected later this year. Malaysia expects the Dutch government to fully accept the MTCS under its procurement policy if this re-assessment concludes that the MTCS fully complies with PEFC International’s meta-standards, according to Yong Teng Koon.

With this decision PEFC-certified timber and timber products under the MTCS are now accepted under the timber procurement policy of the Dutch government.

END OF PRESS RELEASE

   

District Officer, Mr. Awang Shaffie briefing the delegation on the regeneration status of the logged over forest

  

Ms. Dijksma having a first-hand experience of walking in a regenerated tropical rainforest

Mr. Harnarinder Singh explaining to Ms. Dijksma regarding the FMU Map

 

 

Also see related news:

Efforts Towards Sustainable Forestry Management Undermined by SMK Decision, 20 October 2011

Basis of TPAC decision questioned by MTCC, 26 October 2010

MTCC Optimistic of Outlook for Endorsement of MTCS by Dutch Governemnt, 8 March 2010

PEFC Notification Fee under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS)

The PEFC Council has recently revised the guidance document PEFC GD 1006:2012, PEFC Notification of Certification Bodies by PEFC Council, which stipulates the revised structure and tariffs of fees charged for issued PEFC certificates for forest management and chain of custody (CoC), and PEFC Logo usage licenses.

The PEFC Council is now charging only Notification fee per issued certificate, without charging an additional logo usage fee to the certificate holder for the PEFC Logo usage license.  With the revised fee structure, a PEFC Logo usage license will be available for the certified entity (FMU or company) without any additional cost

PEFC is of the view that the revised approach has the following main advantages:

(i)       certificate holders need not pay an additional logo usage fee after having obtained certification; and.

(ii)     a higher number of PEFC logo usage license holders would translate into an increased logo use.

 

In relation to this, MTCC will now impose a PEFC Notification fee on all the certificate holders, and this fee will be collected annually by the certification bodies on behalf of MTCC as part of the total auditing cost.

The PEFC Notification fee that will be charged under the MTCS and the amount collected will be based on the following arrangement:

 

Notification Category Subsets

Annual Fee (RM)

 A.  Forest Management Certificates

 Natural Forest and Forest  Plantations

RM0.018 per ha of certified forest
 B.  CoC Certificates  Based on annual total turnover (RM):
 Up to 5 Million 300.00
 Over 5 Million and up to 20  Million 500.00
 Over 20 Million and up to 50  Million 750.00
 Over 50 Million and up to 100  Million 1,000.00
 Over 100 Million 2,000.00

 

Please take note that the Notification fee will be collected beginning 1 July 2014.

MTCC would like to thank all the certificate holders for the continuous support and full cooperation in this matter.

For further information, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Sabrina Hj. Mawasi (sabrina.mawasi@mtcc.com.my) or Mr Akmal Saarani (akmal@mtcc.com.my).

Invitation to Participate in the Stakeholder Consultation of Anap Muput FMU Surveillance Audit

SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd (SIRIM QAS International) will be conducting the Surveillance Audit for forest management certification on Anap Muput Forest Management Unit (FMU) which is managed by Zedtee Sdn. Bhd., on 24-27 June 2014.

The audit will assess the forest management practices of the Anap Muput FMU against the requirements of the MC&I(Natural Forest) in relation to the economic, social and environmental aspects. 

As part of the audit process for forest management certification, SIRIM QAS International would like to invite all stakeholders to participate in the Stakeholder Consultation process to provide comments and feedback in the Surveillance Audit of the Anap Muput FMU forest management practices. For more information on the Stakeholder Consultation process, the invitation letter which has been issued and published in the SIRIM QAS website can be downloaded at: http://www.sirim-qas.com.my/index.php/en/news-events/public-noticesproduct-recall/300-invitation-to-participate-in-stakeholder-consultation-in-the-surveillance-audit-anap-muput-forest-management-unit-fmu-for-forest-management-certification.

Regional Consultation on Enquiry Draft 2 – Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations)

REGIONAL CONSULTATION ON ENQUIRY DRAFT 2

REVIEW OF THE MALAYSIAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION (FOREST PLANTATIONS) [MC&I(FOREST PLANTATIONS)]

 

Enquiry Draft 1 from the Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations) was subjected to the Second Public Comment period from 1 – 31 December 2013. The comments received were deliberated by the Second Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) held on 12 – 13 February 2014, resulting in the formulation of the Enquiry Draft 2, which will be subjected to further consultation at the three regions as follows:  

 

Sarawak

Sabah

Peninsular Malaysia

Date :   8 April 2014
Time :   8.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Venue : Harbour View Hotel
            Lorong Temple
            93100 Kuching

 

Attendance Reply Form – Sarawak

Date :   10 April 2014
Time :   8.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Venue : Tang Dynasty Hotel             1-1, Lorong Plaza
            Wawasan,
            Coastal Highway
            88000 Kota Kinabalu

Attendance Reply Form – Sabah

Date :   15 April 2014
Time :   8.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Venue : Corus Hotel
            Jalan Ampang,
            50450 Kuala Lumpur

 

Attendance Reply Form – Peninsular Malaysia

 

All relevant and interested stakeholders at the respective region are invited to participate in the above consultation which aims to solicit further feedback and comments on Enquiry Draft 2.

Please complete and return to the Secretariat (Fax: 03-2161 2293 or E-mail: melvin@mtcc.com.my) the attendance reply form that corresponds to the respective regions, for confirmation of attendance latest by 28 March 2014. Limited financial assistance will be provided to cover the costs of transportation and accommodation for outstation participants representing smaller and disadvantaged NGOs in the respective regions. Please contact the Secretariat should such assistance is needed.

 


 

PERUNDINGAN PERINGKAT SERANTAU KE ATAS DERAF PERTANYAAN 2

SEMAKAN SEMULA KRITERIA DAN PETUNJUK MALAYSIA BAGI PENSIJILAN PENGURUSAN HUTAN (LADANG HUTAN) [MC&I(LADANG HUTAN)]

 

Deraf Pertanyaan 1 dari Semakan Semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) telah dikemukakan untuk Komen Umum Kedua yang berlangsung dari 1 – 31 Disember 2013. Komen yang diterima telah dipertimbang oleh Jawatankuasa Penyemakan Semula Standard (SRC) pada Mesyuarat Kedua SRC yang diadakan dari 12 – 13 Februari 2014. Hasil dari mesyuarat tersebut iaitu Deraf Pertanyaan 2 kini dikemukakan untuk mendapat maklum balas selanjutnya melalui Rundingan Peringkat Serantau yang akan diadakan seperti berikut:

 

Sarawak

Sabah

Semenanjung Malaysia

Tarikh :   8 April 2014
Masa :    8.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Tempat : Harbour View Hotel
              Lorong Temple
              93100 Kuching

 

Borang Jawapan Kehadiran – Sarawak

Tarikh :   10 April 2014
Masa :    8.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Tempat : Tang Dynasty Hotel                     1-1, Lorong Plaza
              Wawasan,
              Coastal Highway
              88000 Kota Kinabalu

Borang Jawapan Kehadiran – Sabah

Tarikh :   15 April 2014
Masa :    8.30 a.m. – 5.00 p.m.
Tempat : Corus Hotel
              Jalan Ampang,
              50450 Kuala Lumpur

 

Borang Jawapan Kehadiran – Semenanjung Malaysia

 

Semua pihak berkepentingan yang berkaitan dan berminat adalah dipelawa untuk mengambil bahagian dalam rundingan di atas yang bertujuan untuk mendapatkan maklum balas dan komen lanjut mengenai Deraf Pertanyaan 2.

Sila lengkapkan dan kembalikan kepada Sekretariat (Fax: 03-2161 2293 atau E-mel: melvin@mtcc.com.my borang kehadiran bagi kawasan yang berkenaan untuk pengesahan kehadiran, selewat-lewatnya pada 28 Mac 2014. Bantuan kewangan yang terhad disediakan bagi menampung kos pengangkutan dan penginapan bagi wakil daripada NGO yang memerlukan bantuan kewangan bagi kawasan masing-masing untuk menghadiri rundingan tersebut. Sila hubungi Sekretariat sekiranya bantuan tersebut diperlukan.

ANNOUNCEMENT : Public Consultation on Enquiry Draft of PEFC GD 2001:201X, Chain of Custody of Forest-Based Products – Guidance for Use

ANNOUNCEMENT  : Public Consultation on Enquiry Draft of PEFC GD 2001:201X, Chain of Custody of Forest-Based Products – Guidance for Use

(One month consultation period : 7 Feb – 7 March 2014)

MTCC as the PEFC National Governing Body (NGB) in Malaysia is pleased to inform that the PEFC Council is currently taking steps to revise the  PEFC Chain of Custody Guidance Document PEFC GD 2001:2011, Chain of Custody of Forest Based Products – Guidance for Use.

The "PEFC Chain of Custody and Labelling Working Group" has developed the Enquiry Draft, which is now known as the PEFC Chain of Custody Guidance Document PEFC GD 2001:201X, Chain of Custody of Forest Based Products – Guidance for Use, (click here to download) and dated 7 February 2014.

PEFC has now invited interested parties to participate in the public consultation on the Enquiry Draft.

As an important stakeholder group in Malaysia, your organisation is cordially invited to submit any comments / feedback on this Enquiry Draft directly to PEFC by using the link provided below;

http://consultations.pefc.org/consult.ti/PEFC_CoC_Guidance

Please take note that the public consultation is for a period of one month and ends on 7 March 2014.

Summary of Second Public Comment on Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations)

The First Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) held from 26 – 28 August 2013 considered the comments received from the First Public Comment period and produced the Enquiry Draft 1 for the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations). The Enquiry Draft 1 was subsequently subjected to the Second Public Comment period which was conducted from 1 – 31 December 2013. Stakeholders were invited to submit comments and inputs on the Enquiry Draft 1. At the end of the comment period, comments and proposals were received from four (4) organizations, as follows:

  1. Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN)
  2. Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia
  3. Sabah Forestry Department
  4. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia

All the comments and proposals received will be considered by the Second Meeting of the SRC scheduled to be held from 12 – 13 February 2014 and an Enquiry Draft 2 of the standard will be produced.

As the Secretariat of the SRC, MTCC takes this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders for taking the time and making the effort to study the Enquiry Draft 1, and in submitting the comments and proposals. Stakeholders who wish to submit comments and proposals on the Enquiry Draft 2 may do so during the regional consultations scheduled to be held in Kuching, Kota Kinabalu and Kuala Lumpur in April 2014.

Please do not hesitate to contact us by e-mail (siti@mtcc.com.my) or telephone (+603-2161 2298) should you wish to seek clarification or receive further updates on the process.

ANNOUNCEMENT: Review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) – Second Public Comment (1-31 December 2013)

ANNOUNCEMENT

 REVIEW OF THE MALAYSIAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION (FOREST PLANTATIONS) [MC&I(FOREST PLANTATIONS)]

 SECOND (30-DAY) PUBLIC COMMENT

 (Comment Period: 1 – 31 December 2013)

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) as the Secretariat for the Review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) is hereby putting forward Enquiry Draft 1 of the revised standard for the second 30-day public comment period which will begin from 1 – 31 December 2013.

The Enquiry Draft 1 is the output of the First Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC), held from 26 to 28 August 2013 which deliberated on the comments received from the First 60-day Public Comment period, held from 15 January to 16 March 2013. Detailed deliberations of the First Meeting of the SRC on the Working Draft resulting in Enquiry Draft 1 are as recorded in the Minutes of the said meeting. Please note that changes made to the MC&I(Forest Plantations) are indicated in blue font and underlined in Enquiry Draft 1.

According to the revised Process and Timelines for the Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations), it is anticipated that the full review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) will be completed by December 2014.

In this connection, the Secretariat would like to invite you to provide your comments and/or proposals for amendment/deletion/addition to Enquiry Draft 1, the reasons for your proposals, as well as provide your suggested wording for the proposed changes, as per the following format.

We would greatly appreciate if you could submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 603-2161 2293 or post to the following address by 31 December 2013:

Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue 2
No. 12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur
(Attention: Ms Siti Syaliza Mustapha)

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Ms Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call +603-2161 2298.

Minister Opens PEFC General Assembly; Highlights Importance of Certification

DSC_0494

“Malaysia is committed to manage its forests in a sustainable manner to take full benefits of the environmental, social and economic benefits they provide,” said YB Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas, the Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities during the Opening Ceremony of PEFC’s 18th General Assembly held on 13 November 2013 in Kuala Lumpur.

Recognizing that Asia holds the key to unlocking the production and trade of sustainable forest products, and in recognition of the growing importance of the region, PEFC, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification selected Malaysia to hold the 18th General Assembly.

“While lack of financial resources, institutional capacity and human resources often hampers the implementation of good practices in the forests, Malaysia already pledged to keep at least fifty percent of its land area under forest cover at the Earth Summit in 1992, and in 1998 established the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) to promote responsible forest management”, continued the Minister. “The Malaysian standard achieved a significant milestone by becoming the first Asian national forest certification system to achieve international recognition by PEFC, and today one third of the Permanent Reserved Forests in Malaysia is certified as sustainably managed.”

Responsible forestry is key to Malaysia’s future. The Malaysian timber industry is one of the major contributors of the country’s export earnings. In 2012, the timber sector generated almost 4.6 billion Euro of export earnings and contributed close to 2.9% of the country’s total merchandise exports. The long-term availability of timber from healthy forests is thus of strategic importance for Malaysia.

“With more than 300,000 people working in the timber industry in Malaysia, the social dimensions of sustainability are critically important to the rural development of Malaysia,” said William Street Jr., Chairman of PEFC International. “MTCC, as the first forest certification system globally that integrated social requirements in Chain of Custody certification, protecting worker’s rights along the entire supply chain, plays an important role in advancing the livelihoods of these people.”

“The Malaysian standard sets an example for appropriately balancing the different stakeholder needs and expectations in maintaining and advancing the forest resources, and serves as a model for other countries across Asia. We are looking forward to continuing our work with Malaysia, our members in China and Indonesia, and interested stakeholders in countries such as India, Japan, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam to develop and promote forest certification in their respective countries and advance the sustainable forest management agenda”, Mr. Street emphasized.

The PEFC General Assembly is part of the first-ever PEFC Forest Certification Week held on 11 – 15 November, which also features the PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue on “Advancing Sustainable Timber Supply Chains in Asia” and related side events. The overwhelming response brought together diverse stakeholders across the forest sector landscape to take stock and identify opportunities to catalyse uptake of sustainable practices within the Asian region.

 

 

MTCC achieves second highest increase in CoC certification at PEFC GA

DSC_0412(Edited & Resized)

MTCC receives the Certificate of Appreciation for being the National Governing Body with the second highest increase of chain of custody (CoC) certification during the 18th PEFC General Assembly (GA) held on 13 November 2013. The GA was the highlight of the inaugural PEFC Forest Certification Week held from 11 – 15 November 2013 in Kuala Lumpur.

The Certificate of Appreciation was presented by Mr. William Street, PEFC Chairman and Mr. Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General during the 18th PEFC GA. The highest increase of CoC certification was awarded to PEFC France while PEFC Spain recorded the third highest increase. At the same ceremony, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI), PEFC France and PEFC Poland, were also awarded with Certificate of Appreciation for achieving the highest increase in certified forest areas, in descending order.

“This award is certainly an encouragement for MTCC to continue its effort to ensure more timber companies obtain CoC certification and to double its effort in encouraging more Forest Management Units (FMUs) to be certified under the MTCS”, said Yong Teng Koon, MTCC CEO. MTCC currently has 4.65 million hectares of PEFC-certified forest area and 262 PEFC-certified timber companies under the MTCS.

MTCC Chairman Receives Chinese Friendship Award

Friendship Award 2013 (Dato Freezailah)

MTCC Chairman, Y. Bhg. Dato’ Dr. Freezailah  Che Yeom has been awarded the 2013 People’s Republic of China Friendship Award — the Chinese government’s highest honor for foreigners who have made exceptional contributions to China’s “economic and social progress” on 29 September 2013.  The award which is in the form of a Certificate and a Medal was presented by Vice-Premier Mr. Ma Kai.

“The Chinese government still remembers me for my humble contribution. So I feel very honored for being remembered by China”, said Dato’ Dr. Freezailah (China Daily 3 November 2013, page 5). Dato’ Dr. Freezailah has helped China with several international cooperation projects on tropical forest management in Hainan and Yunnan provinces. In addition, more than 30 Chinese forestry scholars received the ITTO’s Freezailah Fellowship to conduct research abroad. The China Daily reported.

As one of the 50 recipients from 20 countries receiving the award, this award is one of the most significant achievements for Dato’ Dr. Freezailah.  Y. Bhg. Dato’ Freezailah thus becomes one of the 1,249 foreign experts, from 65 countries and regions, who have received the award since 1991. 

The article from the China Daily can be viewed here:

malaysian timber expert branches out – By SHI XI chinadaily

Review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) – Formation of the Standards Review Committee (SRC)

MTCC as the Secretariat is pleased to announce that the process for the formation of the 15-member Standards Review Committee (SRC) for the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) has been completed.

The SRC is the main body responsible for the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) and serves as the multi-stakeholder “Forum” comprising representatives that has been nominated by the respective stakeholder groups i.e. the social, environmental and economic interest groups, and the relevant government agencies from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

The formation of the SRC has been initiated through a letter dated 29 January 2013 which was sent to all stakeholder groups by post and e-mail. To facilitate the nomination and election of one (1) Member and an Alternate Member, each stakeholder group has been requested to propose their preferred option as follows:

Option 1 –          The stakeholder group appoints a coordinator from among the members of the stakeholder group                          to facilitate the nomination and election process; or

Option 2 –          The stakeholder group requests the Secretariat to facilitate the nomination and election process.

The option chosen for the nomination and election of representatives for the respective stakeholder group based on the feedback received are as follows:

                   Region

Sabah

Sarawak

Peninsular Malaysia

Stakeholder Group

Environmental

Option 1 – Malaysian Environmental Non-governmental organisations (MENGO)

Economic

Option 2 – Secretariat

Option 1 – Sarawak Timber Association (STA)

Option 1 – Malaysian Timber Council (MTC)

Social – Indigenous People

Option 1 – KDCA

Option 2 – Secretariat

Option 2 – Secretariat

Social – Workers Union

Option 1 – Building and Wood Workers’ International (BWI)

Relevant Government Agency

Option 2 – Secretariat

 

Subsequent to consultations carried out by the above representatives, Members and Alternate Members to represent the respective stakeholder groups to the SRC have been elected and the members are as follows:

As guided by the Process and Proposed Timelines for the Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations), the SRC is scheduled to meet on 26-28 August 2013 to prepare the Enquiry Draft 1 of the revised standard, which will be circulated and posted on the MTCC website for the second (30-day) public comment period.

Stakeholders are encouraged to submit any inputs with regard to the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) through their elected representative in the SRC. Alternatively, comments can also be submitted directly to the Secretariat through the various public comment periods as indicated in the Process and Proposed Timelines for the Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations).

PEFC Forest Certification Week 2013 – Advancing Sustainable Trade in Asia, 11-15 November 2013, Kuala Lumpur

“There are tremendous opportunities for stakeholders in Asia to contribute to sustainable forest management in Asia, for both forest managers as well as companies along the timber value chain,” said Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General. “As forest certification has yet to fully penetrate the Asian market and new approaches are required to strengthen market demand, build capacity and connect supply chains to deliver sustainable products, PEFC will bring together diverse stakeholders across the forest sector landscape for this year’s Stakeholder Dialogue during the PEFC Forest Certification Week,  to take stock and identify opportunities to catalyze action on and uptake of sustainable practices with respect to the forest based sector within the Asian region”.

The 4th PEFC Stakeholder Dialogue will take place during the Forest Certification Week on 14-15 November. This annual event will bring together some 250 key actors across the forest sector landscape to engage in solutions-oriented discussions. The Stakeholder Dialogue is open to everyone, giving participants a chance to meet experts, hear from a variety of perspectives, take part in discussions and share their views.

To further increase the collaborative power of the Stakeholder Dialogue, PEFC is adding a Side Event Day to the PEFC Forest Certification Week and invites interested organizations, associations and companies to take advantage of the expertise and knowledge of the audience to present their own activities and engage participants. Proposals for side events are requested by 31 August 2013 – visit the event website at www.pefc.org/pefc-week-2013/home for more information.

The PEFC Forest Certification Week will also feature the 18th PEFC General Assembly, a range of internal PEFC workshops, as well as training seminars, including a Chain of Custody seminar that will update participants about the recently release 2013 PEFC Chain of Custody standard.

Visit the event website at www.pefc.org/pefc-week-2013/home

MICCOS 2013 – Malaysia International Commodity Conference & Showcase

MICCOS Logo

MICCOS 2013 is the premier event on Malaysian Commodities. It is a biennial event organised by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and its agencies to bring together major industry players and entrepreneurs in the commodities sector to publicise the latest products and technologies, as well as employment opportunities, in this sector.

Come & Visit MICCOS 2013 which will feature the theme

Sustainable Commodity for a Better Tomorrow on:

24 – 27 October 2013,

MAEP Serdang, Malaysia

Visit www.miccos.com.my for further information.

 

Guidelines and Procedures for Social Impact Assessment and Monitoring of Forest Management Operations formulated for Peninsular Malaysia

The social aspects of forest management are an important consideration in the forest management standard (MC&I) used under the MTCS. The MC&I requires the FMU managers to consult the people and groups directly affected by the forest management operations, to evaluate the social impacts of these operations, and to incorporate the results of the evaluation into the forest planning and management practices of the FMU.

In view of the absence of such guidelines and procedures for evaluation of social impacts, a project entitled “Formulation of Guidelines and Procedures for Social Impact Assessment and Monitoring of Forest Management Operations” was conceptualized and subsequently implemented by the Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP), Universiti Putra Malaysia. The project implementation was further facilitated by a Project Technical Committee comprising members from the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia, Forest Research Institute Malaysia, Department of Orang Asli Development and MTCC to provide technical guidance to INTROP in developing the guidelines and procedures.

The key outcome of the project is the document entitled “Guidelines and Procedures for Social Impact Assessment and Monitoring of Forest Management Operations (Peninsular Malaysia)” which has been compiled in English and Bahasa Malaysia, to provide guidance and to assist the FMU managers in conducting the evaluation of social impacts of forest management operations to comply with the requirements of the MC&I. Among others, the document emphasies on two forest management operations, i.e. forest harvesting and forest conversion, which are considered to have the most significant social impacts on the Orang Asli and local communities in Peninsular Malaysia.

Please click on the document link to download a copy of the Guidelines.

Guidlines SIA cover

Clarification on Statement on Rubberwood Products issued by MTIB

The Statement on Rubberwood Products issued by MTIB (which was issued by MTCC prior to August 2011) basically provides information to buyers that the rubberwood products of the said company are processed or manufactured from rubberwood logs harvested from rubber plantations which are managed through systematic planting and replanting programmes, and that the trees are felled when their life-span for latex production is no longer economic and replanting is necessary, usually after a 25-year rotation.

However, lately some timber manufacturers and exporters of Rubberwood products who have been issued with this Statement by MTIB have enquired from MTCC whether the Statement provides the assurance of legality and sustainability and whether the Statement complies with the requirements of the PEFC International Chain of Custody certification standard PEFC ST 2002:2010 used under the MTCS.

In regard to this, MTCC would like to clarify that from certification view point the Statement on Rubberwood Products does not provide any assurance of sustainability and hence does not comply with the PEFC CoC requirements.

Nevertheless, efforts are currently being taken by MTIB to provide assurance of legality of rubberwood originating from rubber smallholdings under the Timber Legality Assurance System (MYTLAS) developed for Peninsular Malaysia.

Please take note that the above also applies to the Statement on Durian Wood Products and Statement on Acacia Mangium Products issued by MTIB.

Summary of First Public Comment on Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations)

In line with the Proposed Process and Timelines for the Review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations), the first 60-day Public Comment on the MC&I(Forest Plantations) was conducted from 15 January to 16 March 2013.  However, to accommodate the request from some stakeholder groups, the public comment period was extended to 1 April 2013.

Comments and proposals were received from fourteen (14) organisations, as follows:

  1. Department of Wildlife and National Parks Peninsular Malaysia (PERHILITAN)
  2. Labour Department Sarawak
  3. Department of Environment Sabah
  4. Malaysian Trade Union Congress (MTUC) Sarawak Division
  5. Iskandar Regional Development Authority
  6. KTS Forests Management Sdn. Bhd.
  7. Labour Department Peninsular Malaysia
  8. Wildlife Conservation Society (Malaysia Program)
  9. Malaysian Nature Society (Penang Branch)
  10. Zedtee Sdn. Bhd.
  11. Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia
  12. Department of Environment Sarawak
  13. Sarawak Timber Association (STA)
  14. World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Malaysia

Please “click” on the organisation link to view the comments and proposals submitted.

As follow-up action, the Secretariat will prepare a Working Draft containing all the feedback received, which will be presented to the Standards Review Committee (SRC) for its consideration. The SRC which is the main body responsible for the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations), is a 15-member multi-stakeholder forum with members comprising representatives from the environmental, economic and social (indigenous peoples/workers) interest groups, and relevant government agencies from Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

As the Secretariat of the SRC facilitating the review process, MTCC takes this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders for taking the time and making the effort to study the MC&I(Forest Plantations), and submitting the comments and proposals. Stakeholders who wish to submit more comments and proposals on the MC&I(Forest Plantations) can do so during the second and third Public Comment periods, as well as through their respective representatives in the SRC.

You can download the compilation of comments for the Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations) here.

REMINDER: Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations) – First Public Comment

This reminder serves to inform all stakeholder groups that we are more than half way through and will soon be reaching the deadline for the first 60-day public comment period for the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) which has commenced on 15 January and will end on 16 March 2013.

MTCC as the Secretariat facilitating the review process would like to thank those stakeholders who have submitted their feedback and continue to invite those stakeholders who have yet to do so, to submit your comments using the following format

Please kindly indicate your proposals for any amendment/deletion/addition, the reasons for your proposals, as well as provide your suggested wording for the proposed changes to the Principle, Criterion, Indicator or Verifier identified.

We would greatly appreciate if you could submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 603-2161 2293 or post to the following address by 16 March 2013:

Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue II
12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Miss Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call 603-2161 2298.

B.M Version

PERINGATAN

SEMAKAN SEMULA KRITERIA DAN PETUNJUK BAGI PENSIJILAN PENGURUSAN HUTAN DI MALAYSIA (LADANG HUTAN) [MC&I(LADANG HUTAN)]

KOMEN UMUM KALI PERTAMA

(Tempoh Komen: 15 Januari – 16 Mac 2013)

Peringatan ini adalah betujuan untuk memaklumkan semua pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan bahawa tempoh komen umum kali pertama yang berlangsung selama 60 hari untuk proses semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) telah melebihi separuh tempoh dan menghampiri tarikh akhir. Proses komen umum kali pertama ini bermula pada 15 Januari dan akan tamat pada 16 Mac 2013.

MTCC sebagai Sekretariat yang menyelaraskan proses semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan yang telah memberi maklumbalas. Kami juga mengalu-alukan pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan yang masih belum mengemukakan komen untuk menghantar komen-komen dalam formatberikut

Adalah diharapkan cadangan-cadangan untuk pindaan/pengguguran/penambahan, sebab-sebab cadangan serta cadangan bentuk ayat yang sesuai bagi setiap cadangan pindaan bagi mana-mana Prinsip, Kriteria, Petunjuk dan Verifier yang dikenalpasti dapat dikemukakan.

Kami amat berbesar hati sekiranya  komen-komen dapat dikemukakan kepada Sekretariat melalui e-mel kepada info@mtcc.com.my atau faks kepada 603-2161 2293 atau poskan kepada alamat yang berikut sebelum atau pada 16 Mac 2013:

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif
Majlis Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue II
12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai proses semakan semula standard, sila hubungi Cik Siti Syaliza Mustapha di siti@mtcc.com.my atau telefon 603-2161 2298

ANNOUNCEMENT: Review of The MC&I (Forest Plantations) – First Public Comment (15 January – 16 March 2013)

In line with our earlier announcement related to the above matter, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) is hereby putting forward the MC&I(Forest Plantations) which is the forest management standard used for the certification of forest plantations under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), for a 60-day public comment period that starts from 15 January to 16 March 2013. This review process is conducted in line with international practices that a certification standard be reviewed once every five years to ensure continuous improvement.

As announced earlier, based on the Process and Proposed Timelines for the Review of MC&I(Forest Plantations), the review process will see the Enquiry Draft 1 be subjected to a second 30-day public comment period scheduled in August 2013 and the Final Draft subjected to a third and final 60-day public comment period in March-April 2014.

It is anticipated that the full review process of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) will take a total of 18 months (from January 2013 – June 2014).

In this connection, MTCC as the Secretariat facilitating the review process would like to invite you to provide your comments on the MC&I(Forest Plantations), which could include, among others, proposals for any amendment to the existing Principles, Criteria, Indicators and Verifiers contained in the MC&I(Forest Plantations).

Please kindly indicate your proposals for any amendment/deletion/addition, the reasons for your proposals, as well as provide your suggested wording for the proposed changes to the Principle, Criterion, Indicator or Verifier.  To facilitate the Secretariat’s work in compiling the comments, we would appreciate if the comments could be submitted according to the following format.

We would greatly appreciate if you could submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 603-2161 2293 or post to the following address by 16 March 2013:

Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue II
12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Miss Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call 603-2161 2298

 

B.M. Version

PENGUMUMAN

SEMAKAN SEMULA KRITERIA DAN PETUNJUK BAGI PENSIJILAN PENGURUSAN HUTAN DI MALAYSIA (LADANG HUTAN) [MC&I(LADANG HUTAN)]

KOMEN UMUM KALI PERTAMA
(Tempoh Komen: 15 Januari – 16 Mac 2013)

Lanjutan daripada pengumuman awal berkaitan dengan perkara di atas, Majlis Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCC) dengan ini mengumumkan bahawa standard bagi pensijilan pengurusan ladang hutan iaitu MC&I(Ladang Hutan) yang digunakan di bawah Skim Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCS) kini dibuka untuk tujuan komen umum buat kali yang pertama selama 60 hari, bermula dari 15 Januari hingga 16 Mac 2013. Proses semakan semula ini dijalankan seiring dengan amalan antarabangsa yang mengkehendaki semakan semula standard dijalankan pada setiap lima tahun untuk pembaikan yang berterusan.

Berdasarkan kepada Proses dan Cadangan Rangkawaktu untuk Semakan Semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) sepertimana yang telah diumumkan, adalah dijadualkan bahawa Draf Pertanyaan 1 akan melalui proses komen umum untuk kali yang kedua selama 30 hari pada bulan Ogos 2013 dan komen umum kali ketiga ke atas Draf Akhir selama 60 hari pada bulan Mac – April 2014.

Adalah dijangkakan bahawa keseluruhan proses semakan semula standard MC&I(Ladang Hutan) akan mengambil masa selama 18 bulan (mulai bulan Januari 2013 hingga Jun 2014).

Sehubungan dengan ini, MTCC sebagai Sekretariat yang menyelaraskan proses semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) ingin menjemput Y.Bhg. Dato’/Datin/Tuan/Puan untuk mengemukakan komen-komen ke atas MC&I(Ladang Hutan) yang boleh meliputi, antara lain, cadangan untuk pindaan ke atas Prinsip, Kriteria, Petunjuk dan Verifier yang terkandung di dalam MC&I(Ladang Hutan).

Adalah diharapkan cadangan-cadangan untuk pindaan/pengguguran/penambahan, sebab-sebab cadangan serta cadangan bentuk ayat yang sesuai bagi setiap cadangan pindaan bagi mana-mana Prinsip, Kriteria, Petunjuk dan Verifier dapat dikemukakan kepada pihak Sekretariat. Untuk membantu pihak Sekretariat dalam mengumpulkan semua komen, sukacita sekiranya komen-komen tersebut dapat dikemukakan dalam format berikut.

Kami amat berbesar hati sekiranya  komen-komen dapat dikemukakan kepada Sekretariat melalui e-mel kepada info@mtcc.com.my atau faks kepada 603-2161 2293 atau poskan kepada alamat yang berikut sebelum atau pada 16 Mac 2013:

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif
Majlis Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue II
12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai proses semakan semula standard, sila hubungi Cik Siti Syaliza Mustapha di siti@mtcc.com.my atau telefon 603-2161 2298

PEFC Collaboration Fund – 2013 Call for Proposals

PEFC is calling for proposals for the 2013 PEFC Collaboration Fund.

This PEFC Annual Collaboration Fund seeks to support PEFC members and partner organizations in their dedicated efforts to improve forest management and expand forest certification around the world.

The fund is open to PEFC members and other non-profit organizations who are encouraged to submit proposals for new and innovative projects by 9th March 2013. Project partners may also include private and public sector organizations.

Proposals which are requesting for contribution by PEFC of up to 40,000 Swiss France and a project timeframe of up to two years will be considered. Grantees must provide evidence of at least 35% additional co-funding from other sources within the overall project budget.

For further information on the PEFC Collaboration Fund and its application procedures, please visit the PEFC’s website at the following link:

http://www.pefc.org/projects/collaboration-fund/2013-competition

Happy Retirement, Mr. Chew

MTCC bids farewell to Mr. Chew Lye Teng, the founding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the MTCC who retires on 31 December 2012.

Prior to his appointment as the CEO of MTCC in 1999, Mr. Chew served the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) for 25 years from 1974 to 1998 in various capacities, including as Director of the Technical Services Division and subsequently as Director of the enlarged Development Division under which Technical Services was placed. Mr Chew holds a Bachelor of Science (Honours) degree and Diploma in Education from the University of Malaya as well as a Masters degree in Business Administration from the International Management Centres Multinational, Buckingham, United Kingdom.

As the founding CEO, Mr Chew has been instrumental in leading MTCC through its most difficult initial years in the development and operation of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) and in raising the profile of MTCC and the MTCS to their current status of having achieved international recognition and market acceptance. It was through Mr Chew’s untiring efforts, dedication and hard work that contributed significantly to the endorsement of the MTCS by the PEFC Council in May 2009, elevating the MTCS to a higher level of recognition and acceptance.

For many of us who work with him and know him personally, Mr Chew is a person who is very professional in his approach to work and dedicated in carrying out his duties as the CEO. There is no doubt that he has left an indelible impression on all of us at MTCC, and we in the MTCC will miss him when he retires after having served MTCC so faithfully over the last 14 years.

The MTCC management and staff would like to wish Mr. Chew a happy retirement and all the very best in his future undertakings.

Review of Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) [MC&I (Forest Plantations)]

The Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) [MC&I(Forest Plantations)] which is the standard for assessing the management practices of plantation forests under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), operated by MTCC since 2009, is due for its first review in 2013.  While no application has been received to certify plantation forest under this standard, this review is in line with international practices that a certification standard needs to be reviewed at least every five years to ensure continuous improvement.

 

MTCC therefore wishes to announce that the MC&I(Forest Plantations) will be subjected to its first review beginning January 2013 which would be conducted in line with the requirements specified in the MTCS document SSP2/2012: Rules on Standard Setting Process for Development of Timber Certification Standards.

 

The main body which will review the MC&I(Forest Plantations) and develop the revised standard will be the Standards Review Committee (SRC). This Committee will serve as the multi-stakeholder “Forum” and its members will comprise representatives nominated by their respective stakeholder groups i.e. the social, environmental and economic interest groups, and the relevant government agencies, from the three regions of Malaysia, i.e. Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. It is proposed that the SRC shall comprise a total of 15 members.  The MTCC will serve as the Secretariat for the SRC.

 

It is anticipated that the whole review process of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) will take 18 months (from January 2013 to June 2014) and would entail, among others, the following key activities:

 

(i)      soliciting public comments from the stakeholder groups at various stages during the review process by circulating/placing the MC&I(Forest Plantations), Enquiry Drafts and Final Draft on the MTCC web site;

(ii)     compilation of public comments and preparation of Working, Enquiry and Final Drafts by the Secretariat;

(iii)     consideration of  the Working, Enquiry and Final Drafts by the SRC; and

(iv)    conducting of three regional consultations to discuss the Enquiry Draft with the relevant stakeholder groups in the three regions of Malaysia.

 

The detailed process and proposed timelines for the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) are as shown in Appendix I.

 

This announcement on the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) has been communicated in writing to all the relevant stakeholders groups in Malaysia and we look forward to their continued cooperation and active participation in the review process.  Should you be interested to participate in the process for the selection of the representatives of the various stakeholder groups, please e-mail to Mr Cheah Chi Ern (chi.ern@mtcc.com.my) your contact details and infomation indicating the organisation that you represent and your connection to the relevant stakeholder group i.e. social, environmental, economic or relevant government agencies.

 

Information and progress of the review process will be posted on the MTCC website at http://www.mtcc.com.my.

Semakan Semula Kriteria Dan Petunjuk bagi Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan Malaysia (Ladang Hutan) [MC&I (Ladang Hutan)]

Kriteria dan Petunjuk bagi Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan Malaysia (Ladang Hutan) [MC&I(Ladang Hutan)] adalah standard yang digunakan untuk tujuan pensijilan pengurusan hutan di bawah Skim Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCS) yang dioperasikan oleh MTCC sejak tahun 2009. Sungguh pun tiada permohonan diterima bagi pensijilan di bawah standard ini, penyemakan standard ini adalah selaras dengan amalan antarabangsa di mana standard perlu disemak semula sekurang-kurangnya lima tahun sekali bagi memastikan penambahbaikan yang berterusan.

MTCC ingin mengumumkan bahawa MC&I(Ladang Hutan) akan melalui proses semakan semula yang pertama yang akan dijalankan pada Januari 2013. Semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) ini akan dijalankan seiring dengan keperluan yang dinyatakan di dalam dokumen MTCS SSP2/2012: Rules on Standard Setting Process for Development of Timber Certification Standards.

Badan utama yang akan menjalankan penyemakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) dan membangunkan standard yang baru adalah Jawatankuasa Penyemakan Standard [Standards Review Committee (SRC)]. Jawatankuasa ini akan berfungsi sebagai “Forum” bagi kumpulan berkepentingan pelbagai (“multi-stakeholder Forum”) dengan ahli-ahlinya terdiri daripada wakil-wakil yang dicalonkan oleh kumpulan berkepentingan masing-masing iaitu kumpulan-kumpulan sosial, alam sekitar, ekonomi dan agensi kerajaan yang berkaitan, dari ketiga-tiga rantau di Malaysia iaitu Sabah, Sarawak dan Semenanjung Malaysia. Dengan itu, adalah dicadangkan bahawa SRC dianggotai oleh 15 orang ahli. MTCC akan bertindak sebagai Sekretariat untuk SRC.

Adalah dijangkakan bahawa keseluruhan proses semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) akan mengambil masa selama 18 bulan (dari Januari 2013 hingga Jun 2014) dan akan merangkumi aktiviti-aktiviti berikut:

(i)      meminta komen-komen awam dari kumpulan-kumpulan berkepentingan di peringkat-peringkat tertentu sepanjang tempoh proses semakan semula dengan mengedar/meletakkan MC&I(Ladang Hutan), Draf-draf Pertanyaan dan Draf Akhir ke laman web MTCC;

(ii)      penyusunan dan penggabungan komen-komen dan penyediaan Draf Kerja, Draf Pertanyaan dan Draf Akhir oleh Sektretariat;

(iii)     pertimbangan Draf Kerja, Draf Pertanyaan dan Draf Akhir oleh SRC; dan

(iv)     mengendalikan tiga rundingan peringkat rantau untuk membincang Draf Pertanyaan bersama-sama dengan kumpulan berkepentingan di ketiga-tiga rantau di Malaysia.

Penerangan terperinci proses serta cadangan rangkamasa untuk semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) adalah seperti di Lampiran I

Pengumuman ini mengenai proses semakan MC&I(Ladang Hutan) telah dimaklumkan secara bertulis kepada semua pihak-pihak berkepentingan yang berkaitan di Malaysia. Kami mengalu-alukan kerjasama yang erat dan penglibatan yang aktif daripada semua kumpulan berkepentingan di dalam proses semakan semula ini. Sekiranya tuan/puan berminat untuk terlibat secara langsung dalam proses pemilihan peserta untuk mewakili pihak-pihak berkepentingan, sila hantarkan kepada Encik Cheah Chi Ern (chi.ern@mtcc.com.my), maklumat perhubungan tuan/puan, organisasi yang diwakili serta hubungkait dalam kumpulan berkepentingan berkenaan iaitu sosial, alam sekitar, ekonomi atau agensi kerajaan yang berkaitan.

Maklumat berkaitan dengan proses dan kemajuan semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) akan dimuatkan ke dalam laman sesawang MTCC di http://www.mtcc.com.my.

New CEO For MTCC

Mr. Yong Teng Koon, MTCC’s Senior Manager (Forest Management) has been appointed as the new Chief Executive Officer for MTCC with effect from 1 January 2013. He succeeds the current CEO, Mr. Chew Lye Teng, who will be retiring on 31 December 2012, after serving as the CEO for 14 years since 1999.

Mr. Yong joined MTCC as Manager (Forest Management) in December 2001, after serving 17 years in the Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM).

He was promoted as Senior Manager (Forest Management) in September 2006. As the Senior Manager, Mr. Yong is responsible for all activities related to forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), including facilitating the multi-stakeholder consultations related to the development and review of the forest management standards.

With the knowledge and experience that he has gained in his 11 years of service, Mr. Yong is well-equipped to lead MTCC in meeting the present and future challenges in operating the MTCS in an ever-changing domestic and international environment.

MTCC wishes to thank Mr. Chew for his many years of dedicated service and wishes him all the best and a happy retirement.

PEFC Endorsement of the MC&I(Forest Plantations)

MTCC is pleased to announce that the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) has endorsed the MC&I(Forest Plantations) as part of the PEFC endorsed Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), with effect from 20 July 2012.

MTCC is pleased to announce that the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) has endorsed the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations), or in short the MC&I(Forest Plantations) as part of the PEFC endorsed Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), with effect from 20 July 2012.

The MC&I(Forest Plantations) was submitted by the MTCC for assessment against the PEFC ST1003:2010, Sustainable Forest Management – Requirements. The assessment was carried out by an independent assessor, Indufor Oy, appointed by PEFC in accordance with Annex 7 of the PEFC Technical Document.

The decision to endorse the MC&I(Forest Plantations) was made following the PEFC General Assembly postal vote among PEFC members based on the recommendation of the PEFC Board of Directors and the evaluation report by Indufor Oy.

The endorsement of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) will now enable local companies which own or manage forest plantations to apply for forest plantation management certification under the PEFC scheme.

Announcement:: Auditor Training Course on Forest Management Certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS)

This is to announce that the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) will be conducting two auditor training courses on forest management certification related to the use of the two forest management standards under the MTCS.

ANNOUNCEMENT

AUDITOR TRAINING COURSE ON FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION UNDER THE MALAYSIAN TIMBER CERTIFICATION SCHEME (MTCS)

This is to announce that the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) will be conducting two auditor training courses on forest management certification related to the use of the two forest management standards under the MTCS as follows:

(i)  Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest) or in short the MC&I(Natural Forest); and

(ii) Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) or in short the MC&I(Forest Plantations).

 

Training Schedule:

(i)              Auditor Training Course on MC&I(Natural Forest)

Date                        : 3 – 6 September 2012 (Monday – Thursday)

Proposed Venue      : Kuala Lipis, Pahang

(ii)            Auditor Training Course on MC&I(Forest Plantations)

Date                       : 3 – 6 December 2012 (Monday – Thursday)

Proposed Venue      : Bintulu, Sarawak

 

The main aim of the training courses is to train the auditors of the MTCS-notified certification bodies (CBs) so that they fulfill the auditor competency requirements and qualify to conduct forest management certification of natural forest and forest plantations under the MTCS.

In order to increase the pool of trained auditors for forest management certification under the MTCS, MTCC is also opening both training courses to other individuals who are not attached to any MTCS-notified CB but are interestedto attend these courses to become trained auditors. A maximum of 20 places are allocated for each training course, and qualified individuals will be selected based on a “first-come-first served” basis.

Potential candidates are required to possess professional qualification and relevant work experience to attend the training coursesi. e.  a degree in forestry or in other fields related to forest management such as ecology, environmental sciences, biology, sociology and forest economics as per the requirements stipulated in the ACB-FMC Competency Requirements for Bodies Operating Forest Management Certificationissued by STANDARDS MALAYSIA.

A participation fee of RM2,000.00 (Ringgit Malaysia: Two Thousand only) per training course will be charged for each participant to cover the costs of tuition, lunch, tea breaks, and training materials. The cost of travelling and accommodation will be borne by the participants. Payment either by cheque/money order/postal order is to be made payable to ‘Malaysian Timber Certification Council’.

Participants will be divided into smaller groups to undertake a trial forest management audit under the guidance of in-house trainers from MTCC. The field audit will include the following activities:

  • Review of documents
  • On-site assessment
  • Consultation with stakeholders
  • Issuance of Corrective Action Requests (CARs)
  • Preparation of audit report and recommendations

For those who are interested, kindly submit the completed application form [Appendix I for MC&I(Natural Forest) or Appendix II for MC&I(Forest Plantations)] together with the payment to MTCC not later than 20 August 2012.

Please do not hesitate to contact MTCC (Ms. Siti Syaliza or Mr. Cheah) at 03-21612298 or email siti@mtcc.com.my or chi.ern@mtcc.com.myshould you require further information on the training courses.

PEFC Chair Receives Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award

Today PEFC Chair, William Street, received the Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award for his efforts on behalf of IKEA’s workers in Danville Virginia, USA. The award is bestowed by an independent NGO, American Rights At Work and recognizes those who advance human rights for workers…

The press release on PEFC Chair Receives Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award can be downloaded here:

http://www.mtcc.com.my/Press Releases/PEFC Council Chair Receives Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award.pdf

Transition Plan from the Use of the MC&I (2002) to the MC&I (Natural Forest) under the MTCS

The forest management certification standard entitled Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification(Natural Forest)or in short MC&I(Natural Forest), replaces the MC&I(2002), which has been revised based on international practice and the standard setting process for the development of certification standards under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) where it is required that any certification standard used is to be reviewed at least every five years to ensure continuous improvement.

The Board of Trustees of the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) has agreed on a revised transition plan for the change from the use of the MC&I(2002) to the MC&I(Natural Forest) beginning from 1 January 2012 to 31 May 2013. The 17-month transition period encompasses six months for application (required for introducing changes, information dissemination, training and endorsement of the new standard by the PEFC Council), i.e. an application date of 1 July 2012 and 11 months for transition before the standard becomes mandatory on the transition date of 1 June 2013.

All notified certification bodies (CBs) would be ready to carry out audits against MC&I(Natural Forest) by 1 July 2012. Therefore, by 1 July 2012, all audit plans prepared for existing certificate holders and new applicants shall include the MC&I(Natural Forest) as the audit requirement.

All holders of the Certificate for Forest Management and new applicants for forest management certification under the MTCS are required to adhere to the following:

1. All holders of the Certificate for Forest Management to the MC&I(2002) are required to submit a plan for transition to their respective CB by 1 July 2012. The plan shall clearly indicate the end date for the transition process, which shall not go beyond 31 May 2013.

2. All applications for forest management certification against MC&I(2002) received after 1 July 2012 will not be accepted.

3. After 1 July 2012, all the audits of certificate holders/applicants shall be against the MC&I(Natural Forest). However, any deviation from the additional requirements found in the MC&I(Natural Forest) as compared to the MC&I(2002) will be raised as “Observations” and not as “Non-conformities”.

4. From 1 February 2013, all “Observations” against the MC&I(Natural Forest) raised during the audits will be reviewed by the CB and classified as major/minor nonconformity(ies) and the findings will be communicated to the certificate holders/applicants for necessary corrective actions.

5. Certificate holders/applicants found to comply with the requirements of the MC&I(Natural Forest) will be awarded with a new certificate valid for three (3) years.

6. If satisfactory evidence of conformance to the MC&I(Natural Forest) is not made available to the CB by 31 May 2013, then the Certificate of Forest Management of the certificate holder shall be suspended for a maximum of three (3) months. Failure to comply with the MC&I(Natural Forest) by the end of the suspension period shall result in the withdrawal of the certificate by the CB.

Reminder: Review of The MC&I (Forest Plantations) – First Public Comment

REMINDER

REVIEW OF THE MALAYSIAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION (FOREST PLANTATIONS) [MC&I(FOREST PLANTATIONS)]

FIRST PUBLIC COMMENT

(Comment Period: 15 January – 16 March 2013)

This reminder serves to inform all stakeholder groups that we are more than half way through and will soon be reaching the deadline for the first 60-day public comment period for the review of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) which has commenced on 15 January and will end on 16 March 2013.

MTCC as the Secretariat facilitating the review process would like to thank those stakeholders who have submitted their feedback and continue to invite those stakeholders who have yet to do so, to submit your comments using the following format

Please kindly indicate your proposals for any amendment/deletion/addition, the reasons for your proposals, as well as provide your suggested wording for the proposed changes to the Principle, Criterion, Indicator or Verifier identified.

We would greatly appreciate if you could submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 603-2161 2293 or post to the following address by 16 March 2013:

Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue II
12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Miss Siti Syaliza Mustapha at siti@mtcc.com.my or call 603-2161 2298

B.M Version

PERINGATAN

SEMAKAN SEMULA KRITERIA DAN PETUNJUK BAGI PENSIJILAN PENGURUSAN HUTAN DI MALAYSIA (LADANG HUTAN) [MC&I(LADANG HUTAN)]

KOMEN UMUM KALI PERTAMA

(Tempoh Komen: 15 Januari – 16 Mac 2013)

Peringatan ini adalah betujuan untuk memaklumkan semua pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan bahawa tempoh komen umum kali pertama yang berlangsung selama 60 hari untuk proses semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) telah melebihi separuh tempoh dan menghampiri tarikh akhir. Proses komen umum kali pertama ini bermula pada 15 Januari dan akan tamat pada 16 Mac 2013.

MTCC sebagai Sekretariat yang menyelaraskan proses semakan semula MC&I(Ladang Hutan) ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan yang telah memberi maklumbalas. Kami juga mengalu-alukan pihak-pihak yang berkepentingan yang masih belum mengemukakan komen untuk menghantar komen-komen dalam format berikut

Adalah diharapkan cadangan-cadangan untuk pindaan/pengguguran/penambahan, sebab-sebab cadangan serta cadangan bentuk ayat yang sesuai bagi setiap cadangan pindaan bagi mana-mana Prinsip, Kriteria, Petunjuk dan Verifier yang dikenalpasti dapat dikemukakan.

Kami amat berbesar hati sekiranya  komen-komen dapat dikemukakan kepada Sekretariat melalui e-mel kepada info@mtcc.com.my atau faks kepada 603-2161 2293 atau poskan kepada alamat yang berikut sebelum atau pada 16 Mac 2013:

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif
Majlis Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCC)
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue II
12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng
50450 Kuala Lumpur

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai proses semakan semula standard, sila hubungi Cik Siti Syaliza Mustapha di siti@mtcc.com.my atau telefon 603-2161 2298

Revised MTCS document LG 3/2011 regarding issuance of PEFC Logo usage licenses replaces LG 2/2009

MTCC wishes to inform all the PEFC certificate holders and notified certification bodies that the MTCC Board of Trustees at its 49th meeting on 6 December 2011 has adopted the revised document dealing with application to use the PEFC Logo under the MTCS, entitled Issuance of PEFC Logo Usage Licenses by MTCC (LG 3/2011).

The revised document LG 3/2011 dated 6 December 2011 replaces the earlier document entitled Issuance of PEFC Logo Usage Licenses by MTCC (LG 2/2009) dated 3 September 2009, which is currently being used under the MTCS.  The main changes in the LG 3/2011 are to take into account the use of the new PEFC document PEFC ST 2001:2008 PEFC Logo Use Rules – Requirements Second Edition, as well as the change to paragraph 5 in the Logo Usage License Agreement (Appendix D) dealing with Misuse of Logo and Penalties.

Please take note that the LG 2/2009 will be withdrawn with effect from 26 November 2012.  PEFC certificate holders and CBs are advised to take note of this revision and in doing so, take the necessary actions to accommodate and abide with this change.

1.   Holders of PEFC Certificate for Chain of Custody

  • Kindly take note that the LG 3/2011 is applicable only to the CoC certificate holders that have been certified against the new CoC standard PEFC ST 2002:2010. This means that certificate holders certified against the PEFC ST 2002:2010 will have to use the LG 3/2011 to apply for the PEFC Logo Usage Licence from MTCC.
  • Certificate holders currently certified against the previous CoC standard PEFC
    Annex 4 will continue to use the LG 2/2009 to apply for the PEFC Logo Usage Licence from MTCC.
  • Existing PEFC Logo licence holders who have yet to be awarded a new certificate against the PEFC ST 2002:2010 by a notified CB will continue to use the PEFC Logo under the existing PEFC Logo Usage Licence Agreement signed with MTCC. Such use of the PEFC Logo will continue to be governed under the LG 2/2009.
  • However, once the existing PEFC Logo licence holder has been awarded a new certificate against the PEFC ST 2002:2010, the PEFC Logo licence holder will automatically be governed by the LG 3/2011 without having to sign a new Agreement, i.e. any reference made to the LG 2/2009 in the Agreement would then on be interpreted as reference made to the LG 3/2011.

2.   Holders of PEFC Certificate for Forest Management

  • FM certificate holders currently certified against the MC&I(2002) standard will have to  use the LG 3/2011 to apply for the PEFC Logo Usage Licence from MTCC.
  • FM Certificate holders who are also currently holders of the PEFC Logo licence will automatically be governed by the LG 3/2011 without having to sign a new Agreement with effect from 6 December 2011.

3.   PEFC-notified Certification Bodies

  • PEFC-notified CBs who are currently holders of the PEFC Logo licence will also automatically be governed by the LG 3/2011 without having to sign a new Agreement with effect from 6 December 2011.

Please contact MTCC for further information and clarification, if required.

Use of MC&I (Natural Forest) for Certification of Natural Forest in Malaysia

This is to inform that the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Natural Forest) or in short the MC&I(Natural Forest) has been adopted by the MTCC Board of Trustees at its Forty-Ninth Meeting held on 6 December 2011 as the standard for the certification of natural forest at the forest management unit (FMU) level under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).

The MC&I(Natural Forest), which is the outcome of the review process of the MC&I(2002) led by a 15-member multi-stakeholder Standards Review Committee (SRC), will supersede the MC&I(2002) which has been the standard used for the certification of natural forests in Malaysia under the MTCS since October 2005.

The review of the MC&I(2002) is in line with the international norm and the standard setting process under the MTCS where the certification standard used is to be reviewed at least every five years to ensure continuous improvement.

In this connection, the review of the MC&I(2002) has been conducted in an inclusive, participatory and transparent manner, with the draft standards being subjected to scrutiny and deliberations through three meetings of the SRC, three meetings of the Panel of Experts (PoE), three regional consultations, as well as three public comment periods, over the period from April 2009 to September 2011. The milestones in the review of the MC&I(2002) resulting in the development of the MC&I(Natural Forest) are as shown in Table 1 below.

In line with the requirements regarding the implementation of changes to the MTCS, a transition period not exceeding one year is required to be provided to all the affected parties prior to the use of this new standard. All certificate holders and notified certification bodies have been informed that the MC&I(Natural Forest) will become mandatory to be used for the certification of natural forest under the MTCS beginning 1 January 2013. However, for those FMUs which are to be audited during the one-year transition period in 2012, the FMUs concerned have the option to choose either to be audited against the MC&I(2002) or the MC&I(Natural Forest).

As the Secretariat for the review process, MTCC would like to thank all the stakeholder groups, SRC and PoE for the advice, support and inputs provided which has resulted in the development of the MC&I(Natural Forest).

 

Table 1:  Milestones on the Review of the MC&I(2002)

and the Development of the MC&I(Natural Forest)

No.

Activity

Date

1.

Announcement on review process to stakeholders

February – March 2009

2.

Circulating and posting of the MC&I(2002) on the MTCC website for a first (60-day) public comment period

1 April – 31May 2009

3.

Compilation  of comments by Secretariat

June 2009

4.

First meeting of Panel of Experts (PoE)

23 July 2009

5.

Working Draft prepared by Secretariat incorporating all comments received, including the views of the PoE

August 2009

6.

First Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) to consider Working Draft

29 – 30 October 2009 (K.L.)

15 – 16 December 2009 (K.K.)

7.

First Draft of MC&I(Natural Forest) prepared by Secretariat based on outcome of First Meeting of SRC

December 2009 – February 2010

8.

Circulation and posting of First Draft on the MTCC website for a second (30-day) public comment period

10 March – 9 April 2010

9.

Second Meeting of the PoE

29 April 2010

10.

Second Draft  of MC&I(Natural Forest) prepared by Secretariat based on comments received, following discussions with PoE

May – June 2010

11.

Regional Consultation on Second Draft:-       Sarawak-       Sabah-       Peninsular Malaysia

19 – 20 July
22 – 23 July
26 – 27 July  2010

12.

Third  Meeting of the PoE

27 – 28 January 2011

13.

Third Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) prepared by Secretariat based on comments received, following discussions with PoE

February 2011

14.

Second  Meeting of SRC to deliberate Third Draft and prepare Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest)

16 – 18 March 2011 (Miri)

15.

Circulation and posting of Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) on the MTCC website for final 60-day public comment period

May – June 2011

16.

Compilation of  public comments received by the Secretariat

July – August 2011

17.

Third  SRC meeting to finalise and adopt  MC&I(Natural Forest)

20 – 22 September 2011 (Langkawi)

 

MTCC’s Reply To ‘The Star’ Article Rewriting The Rules – Forestry Guidelines

The Editor,
Star Two,
The Star
Menara Star,
15 Jalan 16/11,
46350 Petaling Jaya.

Dear Editor,

Reference is made to the article on Rewriting the rules – Forestry guidelines by Natalie Heng that appeared in the Star 2 on 1 November 2011. The article unfortunately did not present the correct information regarding the cooperation between the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) during the initial phase of MTCC’s operations in 1999. MTCC regrets that The Star has once again deemed it unnecessary to hear our side of the story.

In view of this, I would be grateful if you will allow MTCC the opportunity to set the record straight with regard to the MTCC-FSC cooperation. MTCC would just like to make the following points:

1. The main aims of the cooperation was the development of a forest management certification standard for the scheme operated by the MTCC (now known as the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme or MTCS) that could be recognised by the FSC, and for the MTCS to be endorsed by the FSC;

2. These two objectives were later found to be not achievable due to the following reasons:

i.  The lack of ‘fit’ between the institutional arrangements of the MTCS and the FSC scheme, as MTCC was established to be a governing body while the FSC set-up required MTCC to be a certification body which would need to become accredited to the FSC; and

ii.  FSC operates using three main stakeholder groups or ‘chambers’ (social, environment and economic), while in the Malaysian context of forest management, some of the stakeholders felt that there was  a need for a fourth stakeholder group to cater for the forest managers, who manage the publicly-owned forests in Malaysia, and cannot fit in neatly with the other three stakeholder groups.

3. The work of the multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee (NSC), which was formed as part of the cooperation efforts, nevertheless led to the formulation of two forest management certification standards, i.e. the MC&I(2002) for natural forests, and MC&I(Forest Plantations) for forest plantations which were subsequently adopted to be used under the MTCS. It is important to note that the principles and criteria contained in the MC&I(2002) are exactly the same as the FSC principles and criteria, while the principles and criteria in the MC&I(Forest Plantations) are to a large extent the same as those of the FSC, but incorporate some changes taking into account the local conditions in Malaysia;

4. It was in fact the work put in by the NSC, in which MTCC served as the secretariat, which laid the groundwork towards a renewed effort to formulate a FSC forest management standard for Malaysia. The present activities of Forest Sustainability Malaysia, as reported in the article, can be traced back to  these early efforts under the NSC;

5. The lack of fit between MTCC and FSC led MTCC to become a member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) in 2002. In May 2009, the MTCS became an endorsed scheme under the PEFC, which is the world’s largest forest certification programme; and

6. MTCC has been able to achieve this because under the PEFC, MTCC can play its intended role as the national governing body. The independent certification bodies which conduct audits and make the decision to award certificates to the applicants are mainly locally based companies, while accreditation within Malaysia is carried out by our national accreditation body, the Department of Standards Malaysia (now known as STANDARDS MALAYSIA).

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Chew Lye Teng,
Chief Executive Officer,
Malaysian Timber Certification Council

The original letter can be obtained from the following link:
http://www.mtcc.com.my/Response to Rewriting the rules – Forestry guidelines _STAR article_.pdf

MICCOS 2011!!

Organised for the fourth time, the Malaysia International Commodity Conference & Showcase (MICCOS) 2011 is the premier event on Malaysian Commodities. MICCOS 2011 is a biennial event organised by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities and its agencies to bring together major industry players and entrepreneurs in the commodities sector to publicise the latest products and technologies, as well as employment opportunities, in this sector.

With the theme “Creating Wealth Through Innovation”, MICCOS 2011 will showcase a wide range of the latest products as well as technological developments and innovations in key and newly emerging Malaysian commodities such as palm oil, timber, rubber, cocoa, pepper, tobacco, kenaf and sago.

MICCOS 2011 is open to the public. Details of the event are as follows:

Date: 28 – 30 October 2011, 10.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m.

Venue: Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS), Serdang

For more information please log in to www.miccos.com.my

Efforts Towards Sustainable Forestry Management Undermined by SMK Decision

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) regrets the decision of the SMK Board of Appeal to uphold the October 2010 Revised Final Judgement of the Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) on the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).

“MTCC concludes that the outcome of this process undermines the efforts, especially by developing tropical forest countries like Malaysia, to implement timber certification as a market-linked tool to achieve the sustainable management of their natural forests. As a voluntary timber certification scheme that has been developed through a Malaysian multi-stakeholder process, the MTCS is unfortunately held responsible by SMK for issues that are inherent to the Malaysian constitutional, legal and political system. Secondly, the SMK unfortunately chose not to take into consideration the additional measures to address the TPAC concerns that have been agreed between MTCC and the Dutch State Secretary Mr. Joop Atsma,” said Mr. Chew Lye Teng, Chief Executive Officer of MTCC.

In November 2010, both the TPAC as well as Mr. Atsma had acknowledged that the MTCS conforms to most of the Dutch Procurement Criteria, but that MTCC should further strengthen the on-the-ground interpretation and compliance with the criteria relating to the rights of indigenous peoples, conversion of certified forests and access to maps of the certified forests.

Despite the fact that the Dutch State Secretary has yet to finalize his intention to accept the MTCS, MTCC has fulfilled its commitments and already implemented and issued its instructions to the certified Forest Management Units (FMUs)  and  certification bodies who are responsible for the independent auditing of the forests under the MTCS. These measures, which were implemented in February 2011, are:

  • Additional instructions to ensure that the traditional uses of the forest by the indigenous peoples are respected;
  • Additional instructions to ensure that forest areas scheduled for conversion are excluded from the certified forests, and that any additional conversion will lead to the suspension or withdrawal of the certificate; and
  • Additional instructions to ensure that certified FMUs  make detailed maps of the certified forest areas accessible to stakeholders who wish to examine them.

Furthermore, MTCC has also agreed that the forthcoming surveillance audits of the certified FMUs will explicitly address the above  three instructions, and  incorporate the findings  in a transparent manner in the audit report.

The MTCS started operating in 2001 as a scheme to conduct independent assessments for forest management and chain of custody certification, and award certificates for sustainably produced timber products. The recognition of the MTCS by the Dutch government under the Sustainable Sourcing programme would have been an important incentive to further strengthen the efforts to achieve sustainable forest management in Malaysia. The current decision by SMK sends a wrong signal to the Malaysian timber industry on the market benefits of manufacturing and exporting certified products under the MTCS.

The Netherlands is the largest market for Malaysian timber and related products in the EU and accounts for about 49% of the cumulative exports of certified timber products under the MTCS. Contrary to the SMK ruling, the Danish, British, French and UK governments and the German municipality of Hamburg have recognised the MTCS as providing assurance of sustainable timber. In addition the Keurhout system in The Netherlands has accepted the MTCS under the Protocol for Legal Origin, and specific certificates under the Protocol for Sustainable Forest Management.

The copy of the press release can be obtained from this link: http://www.mtcc.com.my/Press Release – SMK Appeal.191011.pdf

Read also first press release: http://www.mtcc.com.my/fullstory.asp?ID=132

PEFC Launches Global Consultation on Tropical Natural Forests

PEFC has launched a global consultation on its technical document PEFC ST 1003:2010, Appendix 2: Additional interpretation and requirements for tropical natural forests and all stakeholder groups are encouraged to share their knowledge and expertise in this public consultation to ensure that the standard is well aligned with global and local expectations and provides an optimal framework for tropical forest management practices delivering on all three pillars of sustainability – environmental, social and economic. For more information and to participate in the public consultation, click on the following link:

http://consultations.pefc.org/consult.ti/TEST1/consultationHome

Announcement: Conclusion of Third Public Comment on Final Draft MC&I (Natural Forest)

The Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) was subjected to a final 60-day Third Public Comment from 14 May – 12 July 2011.

The notification for the public comment on the Final Draft MC&I(Natural Forest) was made through the MTCC website, MTCC Newsletter, via e-mail as well as air-mail where soft/hard copies of the draft standard were enclosed and sent to 172 organisations representing the various social, economic and environmental stakeholder groups, and relevant government agencies in Malaysia, to solicit their comments and feedback on the draft standard.

A total of fifteen (15) comments and/or proposals were received from the stakeholder groups as a result of the public comment. Please click on the link below to view the comments and proposals received from the stakeholder groups concerned.

1. Wildlife Conservation Society (Malaysia Program)
2. Natural Resources and Environment Board, Sarawak
3. Sabah Forestry Department
4. Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia
5. Kadazandusun Cultural Association, Sabah
6. Forest Research Institute Malaysia
7. Sarawak Forestry Department
8. Bioversity International
9. Johor National Parks Corporation
10. Environmental Protection Department, Sabah
11. Persatuan Kedayan Sabah
12. Sarawak Biodiversity Centre
13. Jabatan Tenaga Kerja Sarawak
14. Department of Irrigation and Drainage, Sabah
15. Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (SUHAKAM)*

Besides comments received from representatives of the above stakeholder groups, the Secretariat has also submitted its comments and proposals for the consideration of the Third Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC).

The Secretariat of the SRC wishes to thank the representatives from the various stakeholder groups for taking the effort to study and submit their comments and proposals on the Final Draft. The comments and proposals received will be compiled by the Secretariat and presented for the consideration of the Third Meeting of the SRC,  scheduled to be held in Pulau Langkawi on 20 – 22 September 2011.

Stakeholder groups which still wish to submit any further comments and proposals on the Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) can submit their comments via their respective representative (member) in the SRC.

Note: (*) Comments from SUHAKAM dated 27 July 2011 were received by the Secretariat on 1 August 2011 i.e. after the closing date of 12 July 2011.

Reminder To Submit Comments on The Final Draft of MC&I (Natural Forest)

THIRD PUBLIC COMMENT
FINAL DRAFT OF THE MC&I(NATURAL FOREST)
(comment period: 14 May – 12 July 2011)

This announcement is to inform all stakeholder groups that we are now at more than the halfway mark for the review of the MC&I(2002) based on the third 60-day public comment period which has commenced on 14 May and will end on 12 July 2011.

The Secretariat wishes to thank the various stakeholder groups who have submitted their comments and looks forward to receive comments from other stakeholder groups on the Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) based on the stipulated format by or before 12 July 2011.

Kindly submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 603-21612293 or via post to the following address:

Chief Executive Officer,
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC),
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue II,
No. 12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur.
(Attn: Mr. Yong Teng Koon)

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Mr. Yong Teng Koon at yongtk@mtcc.com.my or call 603-92005008. Information and progress of the review process will be posted on the MTCC website at http://www.mtcc.com.my

Annoucement : Review of the MC&I(2002) – Third Public Comment (14 May -12 July 2011)

THIRD PUBLIC COMMENT
FINAL DRAFT OF THE MC&I(NATURAL FOREST)

(Comment Period: 14 May – 12 July 2011)

The Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)] which is the standard used for forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) since October 2005 is being subjected to its first review.  This review is in line with international practices that the certification standard used is to be reviewed at least every five years to ensure continuous improvement.

In line with the Process and Revised Timelines for the Review of MC&I(2002), the Secretariat is pleased to inform that the Second Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) held on 16-18 March 2011 has deliberated on the Third Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest), resulting in the Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) dated 18 March 2011.  Deliberations of the SRC on the Third Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) are as recorded in the Minutes of the Second Meeting of the SRC.

The Secretariat is pleased to announce that the Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) will now be subjected to a Third and final 60-day Public Comment commencing from 14 May – 12 July 2011.

In this connection, the Secretariat would like to invite you to provide your comments and or proposals for any amendments/deletions/additions to the Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest).

To facilitate the compilation of comments, the Secretariat would appreciate if the comments could be submitted based on the following format.

The Secretariat would greatly appreciate if you could kindly submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or via facsimile at 603-21612293 or via post to the following address not later than 12 July 2011:

Chief Executive Officer,
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC),
C-08-05, Block C, Megan Avenue II,
No. 12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng,
50450 Kuala Lumpur.
(Attn: Mr. Yong Teng Koon)

For further information about the standard review process, please contact Mr. Yong at yongtk@mtcc.com.my or call 603-21612298.  Information and progress of the review process will also be posted on the MTCC website at http://www.mtcc.com.my.

[Note: This announcement on the Third Public Comment on the Final Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) has also been communicated in writing to the relevant stakeholders groups in Malaysia and we look forward to your continued cooperation and active participation in the review process.]

New Normative and Guidelines Documents Related to MC&I(2002)

MTCC has issued a new normative document MC&I 2/2011 dated 16 February 2011 dealing with the Interpretation of Criterion 6.10 of the MC&I(2002). This document supersedes the normative document MC&I 2/2010 dated 7 April 2010.

In addition, MTCC has also issued a guidelines document MC&I 3/2011 dated 16 February 2011 dealing with the Interpretation of the Term ‘Free and Informed Consent’ in the MC&I(2002).

Both documents aim to provide guidance to ensure clear interpretation of the two items mentioned above.

Update on the Review of the MC&I(2002)

The Second Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) including the comments received from the various stakeholder groups obtained during the Second Public Comment stage, was subjected to three regional consultations in Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia. The regional consultations which were held in Kuching, Sarawak on 19-20 July, in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah on 22-23 July and in Kuala Lumpur on 26-27 July 2010 were attended by a total of 35, 23 and 39 participants respectively.

The main objective of the regional consultations was to obtain further comments and feedback from the various stakeholder groups on the Second Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest), to supplement the comments that have been received during the Second Public Comment stage, which was held from 10 March to 9 April 2010.

The consultations resulted in valuable comments and feedback received from the participants representing the social, environmental and economic stakeholder groups and the relevant government agencies in the three regions of Malaysia as reflected in the Records of Discussion of the Regional Consultations for Sarawak, Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia.

MTCC as the Secretariat of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) has consolidated the comments and feedback on the Second Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) from the three regions which will be tabled for the deliberation by the Panel of Experts (PoE) scheduled to be held on 27-28 January 2011, and subsequently for the consideration by the Second Meeting of the SRC on 16-18 March 2011, in line with the revised process and timelines for the revision of the MC&I(2002).

Should you have any enquiries on the review of the MC&I(2002), please do not hesitate to contact the Secretariat (Mr. Yong Teng Koon and Mr. Mohd Faisal Jaafar) at 03-2161 2298 or via email at yongtk@mtcc.com.my or faisal@mtcc.com.my .

Basis of TPAC decision questioned by MTCC

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) regrets the decision of the Dutch Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) to change its Final Judgement on the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) based on the objection lodged by several NGOs. “MTCC concludes that the outcome of this objection process is not helpful  to the efforts to achieve sustainable forest management and timber certification, which is most challenging, especially for  tropical developing countries. The basis  of this decision not only lies outside the mandate of the MTCS, but also is outside the remit of TPAC in offering political advice on issues that affect the sovereign rights of Malaysia and the competence of its state governments,” said Mr. Chew Lye Teng, CEO of MTCC.

The objection lodged by the NGOs has led the TPAC to alter its earlier positive Final Judgement, that the MTCS conforms to the Dutch procurement criteria, to a negative Judgement that the MTCS does not conform to these criteria. MTCC is of the view that the TPAC has erred in its judgement.  The TPAC, after having assessed the MTCS for more than 18 months, apparently still does not fully understand the constitutional framework for forest management within Malaysia. “We fail to see why TPAC expects that a timber certification scheme, such as the MTCS, can avoid compliance with the Malaysian laws, particularly on matters regarding land ownership and use, which are state matters. The standards used in the MTCS, which are agreed among the different stakeholder groups through consultations, not only comply with internationally accepted criteria for sustainable forest management, but  also have to respect the laws in Malaysia”, according to Mr. Chew.

The MTCS started operating in 2001 as a scheme to conduct independent audits for forest management and chain of custody certification and award certificates for sustainably produced timber products. The recognition of the MTCS by the Dutch government under the Sustainable Sourcing programme would have been an important incentive to further strengthen the efforts to achieve sustainable forest management in Malaysia. The current decision by TPAC sends a wrong signal to the Malaysian timber industry on the market benefits of manufacturing and exporting MTCS-certified products.

The Netherlands is the largest market for Malaysian timber and related products in the EU and accounts for about 49% of the cumulative exports of MTCS-certified timber products.  In contrast to the decision by TPAC that MTCS does  not conform to the Dutch procurement criteria, the Danish, British, German and French governments and the German municipality of Hamburg have recognised the MTCS as providing assurance of sustainable timber. In addition the Keurhout system in The Netherlands has accepted the MTCS under the Protocol for Legal Origin, and specific certificates under the Protocol for Sustainable Forest Management.

The copy of the press release can be obtained from this link: http://www.mtcc.com.my/Press Releases/Press Release – TPAC Final Judgement.pdf

PEFC-Certified timber from Malaysia Arrives in Belgium

One of the first PEFC-certified sawn timber consignments from Malaysia has arrived at the port of Antwerp in Belgium. The shipment of 12 tons of Dark Red Meranti (DRM) was exported by the PEFC chain of custody certified company, Low Fatt Wood Industries Sdn. Bhd. (Logo Licence no. PEFC/34-31-079) to Denderwood West Flanders, one of the major importers of Malaysian timber products in Belgium.

Belgium is an important market for Malaysian timber products besides The Netherlands and the United Kingdom. In 2009, Europe imported a total of 501,084 cubic metres of timber products from Malaysia. Of this total, 52,761 cubic metres were exported to Belgium.  “Thanks to the PEFC certification in Malaysia, we have the opportunity to increase our supply of PEFC-certified wood now at reasonable prices”, said Filip D’Haeseleer of Denderwood.

Since the endorsement of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) by the PEFC Council, seven Forest Management Units (FMUs) representing 3.97 million hectares of Permanent Reserved Forests in Malaysia have been awarded the PEFC Certificate for Management, while 146 timber companies have been awarded the PEFC Certificate for Chain of Custody. 40 of these companies have signed the PEFC Logo Usage Licence Agreement with MTCC which allows them to use the PEFC Logo on their MTCS-certified timber products.

*source: PEFC Belgium newsletter

Amendment to Scheme Document – MTCS 1/2009

In view of the fact that the transition of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) to fully comply with the requirements of the PEFC has been completed, MTCC has amended its scheme document MTCS 1/2009 entitled The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) and its Implementation Arrangement dated 19 May 2009 to remove the sections dealing with the transitional arrangements of the MTCS. At the same time, additional sections have been included in the document to deal with the new activities in the MTCS, i.e. the certification of forest plantations to the requirements of the MC&I(Forest Plantations), which includes group certification.

The amended document, referred to as MTCS 2/2010 entitled The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) and its Implementation Arrangement and dated 30 September 2010 has been approved by the MTCC Board of Trustees during its Forty-Fifth Meeting on 30 September 2010.

Three More FMUs Become PEFC-Certified

The Kedah, Pahang and Perak Forest Management Units (FMUs) have been awarded with the accredited Certificate for Forest Management (Natural Forest) against the requirements of the MC&I(2002) under the MTCS. MTCS-certified logs originating from these FMUs and their downstream products are now eligible to carry the PEFC Logo.

The details related to the certificates issued to the Kedah and Perak FMUs by SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. on 9 June and 7 July 2010 respectively as well as to the Pahang FMU by SGS Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. on 5 July 2010, are as follows:

FMU Extent of PRF (ha) Stage 1 Audit Stage 2 Audit
Kedah FMU 307,046 16-19 August 2009 17-22 December 2009
Pahang FMU 1,562,496 2-4 September 2009 9-12 & 16-19 November 2009
Perak FMU 991,436 24-27 August 2009 26 October-2 November 2009

The certificates are valid for a 3-year period, subject to annual surveillance audit to ensure the continued compliance of the FMUs with the requirements of the standard. With this development, a total of 3.97 million ha of the PRFs in Malaysia have now become PEFC-certified.

Public summaries of the audit reports on the Kedah, Pahang and Perak FMUs can be obtained from the websites of SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. and SGS Malaysia Sdn. Bhd. respectively.

 

Fees for use of PEFC Logo

Beginning 1 July 2010, following a decision made by the Board of Trustees, MTCC will impose a fee for the use of the PEFC Logo.  The logo usage fee will be in the form of a one-time issuance fee and an annual fee and will be charged to all the PEFC Logo users under the MTCS, i.e. both certificate holders (for forest management and CoC) and non-certificate holders (certification bodies).

The rates for the issuance fee and the annual fee which have been approved by the MTCC Board for the one-year period from July 2010-June 2011 are as follows:

 

Logo User Category

Subsets

Issuance Fee (RM)

Annual Fee (RM)

A.    MTCC

B.    Forest Management Certificates Natural Forest and Forest Plantations

50.00

RM0.018 per ha of certified forest
C.    CoC Certificates Based on annual total turnover (RM):
Up to 5 Million

50.00

300.00

Over 5 Million and up to 20 Million

50.00

500.00

Over 20 Million and up to 50 Million

50.00

750.00

Over 50 Million and up to 100 Million

50.00

1,000.00

Over 100 Million

50.00

2,000.00

D.    Other users PEFC-notified CBs

50.00

500.00

Other users


 

In order for the MTCS-notified CBs and certificate holders to obtain a better understanding on this matter, MTCC conducted a Briefing Session on PEFC Logo Usage Fee under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) on 11 June 2010 in Kuala Lumpur.

Project on Formulation of Guidelines and Procedures for Social Impact Assessment and Monitoring of Forest Management Operations

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) has signed a Memorandum of Agreement with the UPM Consultancy & Services Sdn Bhd to implement a project entitled Formulation of Guidelines and Procedures for Social Impact Assessment and Monitoring of Forest Management Operations.  The Agreement is for a period of 16 months commencing from 1 January 2010 to 30 April 2011.

The main objective of the project is to formulate guidelines and procedures for the conduct of social impact assessment/evaluation, including monitoring procedures to assess the impacts of forest harvesting operations on the indigenous and local communities living within and in the vicinity of the Forest Management Unit (FMU).

Under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) operated by MTCC, FMUs applying for forest management certification are required to comply with the requirements of the prescribed forest management standard, i.e. the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)].  On the social aspect, the MC&I(2002) stipulates the requirements for the FMU manager to conduct an assessment/evaluation of social impact of forest management operations on the indigenous and local communities directly affected by the operations (Criterion 4.4). In addition, the standard also prescribes the need for monitoring procedures for assessing these impacts (Criterion 8.1).

In this connection, the project has been designed to produce the following two instruments:

(i)          Guidelines and procedures for conducting social impact assessment/ evaluation of forest
management operations on the communities directly affected by such operations;
(ii)         Procedures for monitoring effectiveness of measures taken to avoid or minimise social
impacts of forest management operations.

The development and availability of the above two instruments will further assist the forest managers to meet the requirements of Criteria 4.4 and 8.1 of the MC&I(2002).

A Project Technical Committee comprising members from the Department of Orang Asli Affairs (JHEOA), Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM), Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), Institute of Tropical Forestry and Forest Products (INTROP) in UPM and MTCC has been formed to provide expert views as well as technical support for the project implementation. The Committee held its first meeting on 11 May 2010.

The project will involve the implementation of the following key activities in developing the two instruments:

(i)          Conduct literature review;
(ii)         Organise and conduct local community discussion/consultation;
(iii)        Organise and conduct Stakeholder Workshop;
(iv)        Develop instruments; and
(v)         Conduct pilot trial and finalisation of instruments.

Representatives of the various stakeholder groups will be invited to the Stakeholder Workshop to provide their comments and inputs regarding the draft instruments.  The Workshop is tentatively scheduled to take place in October 2010.

Stakeholder Dialogue: Development of Forest Certification in Asia Pacific & Revision of PEFC Requirements for Forest Certification Systems

To all Malaysian stakeholders groups,

We are pleased to inform you that MTCC and the PEFC Council will be co-hosting a Stakeholder Dialogue in Malaysia that will focus on the development of forest certification initiatives in the Asia Pacific region and the revision of the PEFC requirements for forest certification systems.

We would therefore like to cordially invite you to attend this Stakeholder Dialogue that will be held as follows:

                    Date: 16 – 18 June 2010
Venue: Corus Hotel, Jalan Ampang, Kuala Lumpur

You can register online now at http://pefc-mtcc.eventbrite.com or send the completed registration form to info@mtcc.com.my or fax to MTCC at 03-92006008.  To facilitate our planning, you are encouraged to register early, not later than 31 May 2010.

As one of the stakeholder groups in Malaysia that has been actively involved with the development of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) and in discussions on issues related to timber certification, we believe that this Stakeholder Dialogue will provide you with an excellent opportunity to be briefed on the development and progress of forest certification initiatives in the Asia Pacific region and to share with us your views, opinions and suggestions on critical issues related to the work of the PEFC Council, including, amongst others,

  • how to ensure balanced stakeholders participation in developing national standards
  • ensuring the recognition of indigenous peoples rights relating to forest resources
  • ensuring basic labour, health and safety standards in all forestry operations
  • how to stop forest conversions
  • what approach is best to limit the use of herbicides

For your information, this Dialogue is part of the PEFC’s Standards Revision process.  Over the past two years, PEFC as the world’s largest forest certification system has been revising its forest management standard, requirements for developing national certification standards, and requirements for group certification, a tool that is of specific importance for family- and community forest owners.

Please click here for the joint invitation letter from MTCC and the PEFC Council, including further information about the event.

Participation is free of any charges.  However, participants will have to bear the cost of travel and hotel accommodation.  Nevertheless, smaller social and environmental NGOs which wish to send their representatives to the Dialogue can contact MTCC regarding financial assistance to cover expenses incurred for travel and hotel accommodation.

If you need further clarification regarding this Dialogue, please do not hesitate to contact Sabrina Wu at sabrina@mtcc.com.my or call 603-92005008.

Announcement: Review of MC&I(2002) – Second Public Comment

FIRST DRAFT OF THE MC&I(NATURAL FOREST)

(Comment Period: 10 March – 9 April 2010)

The Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)] which is the standard used for forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) since October 2005 is being subjected to its first review.  This review is in line with international practices that the certification standard used is to be reviewed at least every five years to ensure continuous improvement.

In line with our earlier announcement related to the above matter, and in accordance with the Process and Proposed Timelines for the Review of MC&I(2002), the Secretariat is pleased to inform that the First Meeting of the Standards Review Committee (SRC) has been held on 29-30 October and 15-16 December 2009 to deliberate on the Working Draft prepared by the Secretariat.  As a result of the meeting, the SRC has prepared the First Draft of the revised standard [henceforth called the MC&I(Natural Forest)]. Deliberations of the First Meeting of the SRC on the Working Draft resulting in the First Draft are as recorded in the Minutes of the said meeting.

The Secretariat is also pleased to announce that the First Draft of the revised standard will now be subjected to a 30-day Second Public Comment commencing from 10 March – 9 April 2010.

In this connection, the Secretariat would like to invite you to provide your comments and or proposals for any amendments/deletions/additions to the First Draft.

To facilitate the compilation of the comments by the Secretariat, we would appreciate if the comments are submitted based on the following format.

We would greatly appreciate if you could kindly submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or via facsimile at 603-92006008 or via post to the following address not later than 9 April 2010:

Chief Executive Officer,
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC),
19 F, Level 19, Tower 1, Menara PGRM,
No. 8, Jalan Pudu Ulu, Cheras,
56100 Kuala Lumpur.
(Attn: Mr. Yong Teng Koon)

For further information about the standard review process, please contact Mr. Yong at yongtk@mtcc.com.my or call 603-92005008.  Information and progress of the review process is posted on the MTCC website at http://www.mtcc.com.my.
[Note: This announcement on the Second Public Comment on the First Draft of the MC&I(Natural Forest) has also been communicated in writing to the relevant stakeholders groups in Malaysia and we look forward to your continued cooperation and active participation in the review process.]

MTCC Optimistic of Outlook for Endorsement of MTCS by Dutch Government

PRESS RELEASE, 5 March 2010

MTCC Optimistic of Outlook for Endorsement of MTCS by Dutch government

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) welcomes the conclusion of the Dutch Timber Procurement Assessment Committee (TPAC) that the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), the scheme operated by MTCC, meets the requirements of the Dutch procurement policy.  “Due to the thoroughness of the TPAC’s assessment of the MTCS, we can only anticipate a positive decision by the Dutch Minister for the Environment to accept MTCS- certified timber products under the policy,” said Mr. Chew Lye Teng, CEO of MTCC.

The MTCS started operating in 2001 as a scheme to conduct independent assessments for forest management and chain of custody certification and award certificates for sustainably produced timber products. The recognition of the MTCS by the Dutch government under the ‘Duurzaam Inkopen’ (Sustainable Sourcing) programme is not only an important incentive to further strengthen the efforts to achieve sustainable forest management in Malaysia, but also sends a strong signal to the Malaysian timber industry on the market benefits of manufacturing and exporting MTCS-certified products.

The Netherlands is the largest market for Malaysian timber and related products in the EU and accounts for about 49% of the cumulative exports of MTCS-certified timber products. Prior to the recognition of MTCS as providing assurance for sustainability by TPAC, the Danish, British,  French and German governments have recognised  the MTCS as providing assurance of legal and/or sustainable timber. In addition the Keurhout system in The Netherlands has accepted the MTCS under the Protocol for Legal Origin, and specific certificates under the Protocol for Sustainable Forest Management.

– End –

Editor Notes:

Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)

MTCC was established to develop and operate a voluntary national timber certification scheme, the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), in order to provide independent audits of forest management practices to ensure sustainable forest management in Malaysia as well as to meet the market demand for certified timber products. Currently, nine Forest Management Units (FMUs) covering a total area of 4.60 million hectares of permanent forests in Malaysia are certified under the MTCS. 175 timber manufacturers and exporters have been awarded the chain of custody certificate which qualifies them to supply MTCS-certified timber products to the market. In May 2009, the MTCS was endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC), the largest forest certification programme in the world.

First PEFC-notified CB for Chain-of-Custody Certification

MTCC-notified certification body, SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. (SIRIM QAS) has become the first PEFC-notified CB (PEFC Logo usage Licence no. PEFC/34-44-01) operating chain of custody (CoC) certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS). This development will enable SIRIM QAS to use the PEFC logo on CoC certificates which it awards under the MTCS.

As an accredited CB under the Department of Standards Malaysia (STANDARDS MALAYSIA) against MS ISO/IEC Guide 65 for product certification, SIRIM QAS applied to STANDARDS MALAYSIA for an extension of scope of its accreditation to include CoC certification of forest based products using the standard PEFC Technical Document Annex 4 under the MTCS. The application by SIRIM QAS for the extension of scope was approved by STANDARDS MALAYSIA on 27 July 2009.

Subsequently, SIRIM QAS applied to MTCC for PEFC Notification as a CB operating CoC certification. The application was considered and approved by the Eleventh Meeting of the MTCS Notification Committee on 2 September 2009.

Update on Review of MC&I(2002)

This is to inform all stakeholders that the 15-member Standards Review Committee  (SRC) comprising representatives from stakeholder groups, i.e. environmental, social, economic and relevant government agencies, nominated by the respective stakeholder groups in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, has been formed and will be responsible for the conduct of the first review of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification or in short MC&I(2002).  This review is in line with international practice that the certification standard used is to be reviewed at least every five years to ensure continuous improvement.

The SRC held its first meeting on 29-30 October 2009 to deliberate on the comments received from the First Public Comment on the MC&I(2002) [conducted from 1 April – 31 May 2009], as well as from other sources, i.e. the PEFC endorsement of the MTCS, the MTCC-Hamburg project, as well as consideration of the ILO Core Conventions by PEFC.

For more information related to the review of the MC&I(2002), all stakeholders are encouraged to contact the Member/Alternate Member of their stakeholder group in their respective region or the SRC Secretariat. Contact details of the Members/Alternate Members of the SRC and the SRC Secretariat are as shown in Table 1.

Information on the progress of the review process will be periodically posted on the MTCC website at http://www.mtcc.com.my.

Expiry of Certificate for Forest Management for Sela’an-Linau FMU

The validity of the Certificate for Forest Management that has been issued to the Sela’an-Linau FMU on 18 October 2004 against the requirements of MC&I(2001) under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) has expired on 17 October 2009.  Hence, the Sela’an-Linau FMU is no longer certified under the MTCS with effect from the above-mentioned date.

Under the new institutional arrangement for the MTCS, the Sela’an-Linau FMU is now required to apply to a MTCS-notified Certification Body for assessment against the MC&I(2002).

Seminar on Forest Management and Timber Certification in Malaysia

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) is organizing a Seminar on Forest Management and Timber Certification in Malaysia to highlight the current status of forest management practices and the challenges faced by the forest managers in the three regions of Malaysia (i.e. Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah & Sarawak) in trying to achieve sustainable forest management (SFM). The seminar will also highlight the development and current status of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) in helping to ensure that Malaysia’s forests resources are sustainably managed. This Seminar will feature presentations by speakers from the respective forestry departments of the three regions and MTCC.

This seminar is organised in conjunction with the Malaysia International Commodity Conference and Showcase (MICCOS 2009) which is a biennial event organised by the Ministry of Plantation Industries and Commodities (MPIC) with the support of its related agencies to showcase the development in the commodity sector and to bring together the major industry players and entrepreneurs scheduled to be held on 13 – 16 August 2009 at the Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS).

WHO SHOULD ATTEND

Academicians, researchers, undergraduates, secondary school students and the general public with interest in forest management including the environmental and social aspects, forest and chain-of-custody certification.

DATE, TIME AND VENUE

Date  :    14 August 2009
Time :     3.00 – 5.00 p.m.
Venue :   Hall D, Seminar Room 5,
Malaysia Agro Exposition Park Serdang (MAEPS),
Selangor.

PARTICIPATION AND REGISTRATION

Participation is on a first-come-first-served basis and admission is free. For more information regarding the seminar click here. If you are interested to participate, kindly fax / email the attendance Reply Form to Fax no. 03-92006008 / sabrina@mtcc.com.my by not later than 12 August 2009 (Wednesday).

Public Comments on review of MC&I (2002)

The Secretariat of the Standards Review Committee is pleased to announce the following comments which were received from the stakeholder groups as a result of the First Public Comment period on the MC&I(2002) conducted from  1 April to 31 May 2009:

(i)      Forest Department Peninsular Malaysia (Appendix I)
(ii)     Sarawak Forestry Corporation (Appendix II)
(iii)    Malaysian Nature Society (Kuching Branch) and World Conservation Society Malaysia (Appendix III)
(iv)    Sarawak Timber Association (Appendix IV)

In addition, the review of the MC&I(2002) will also take into account the comments from the following sources:

(i)      Comments on the MC&I(2002) received from the PEFC Council based on the evaluation of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) for PEFC endorsement (Appendix V); and
(ii)     Comments received from the MTCC-Hamburg project (Appendix VI).

[The MTCC-Hamburg project was a two-year collaborative project between the MTCC and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, Germany from June 2006-May 2008.  Under the project, a total of five consultants were engaged to look at specific aspects of the MC&I(2002), including a consultant to propose further improvement to the Indicators and Verifiers of the MC&I(2002). The work of the consultants was subjected to further review by the Joint Project Team comprising MTCC and other members representing the forestry agencies in the three regions of Malaysia, and presented at three regional workshops held in the three regions of Malaysia.]

In line with the Process and Timelines for the Review of MC&I(2002), a five-member Panel of Experts (PoE) has now been formed and tasked to study the comments made on the MC&I(2002).  We are pleased to announce that the PoE has been scheduled to meet on 23 July 2009 and the outcome of the PoE meeting will be presented for the consideration of the First Meeting of the Standards Review Committee which will be scheduled in August-October 2009.

According to the timelines, the draft revised standard shall be subjected to a second 30-day public comment and a third 60-day public comment period scheduled in November 2009 and May-June 2010, respectively.

PEFC Endorsement of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS)

PRESS RELEASE

The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) has become the first tropical timber certification scheme in the Asia Pacific region, and the second in the world after the Gabonese Forest Certification Scheme, to be endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC).

“The endorsement of MTCS is a significant achievement for the sustainable forest management community as whole. While the certification movement has its origins in efforts to protect tropical forests, over 90% of the world’s certification today takes place in the temperate forests of Europe and North America”, explained Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General. “Yet tropical forests in the Southern hemisphere offer the most benefits to tackling some of society’s biggest challenges, including climate change, combating deforestation and forest degradation, and maintaining the world’s precious biodiversity.”

Dato’ Dr. Freezailah Che Yeom, Chairman of the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), which operates the MTCS, said, “MTCC is indeed pleased and proud to have obtained the PEFC endorsement, which shows that the various aspects of the MTCS, such as the institutional arrangement and certification standards used, have met the stringent requirements of the PEFC. It gives further assurance that forests certified under the MTCS are implementing the best management practices and contributing to the challenging efforts to achieve sustainable forest management, particularly for the tropical rainforests”.

Dr. Freezailah added that the endorsement enables the MTCS to achieve mutual recognition with 26 other PEFC-endorsed certification schemes. This means that the MTCS-certified timber product manufacturers and exporters will soon be able to combine PEFC-certified material from Malaysia with other PEFC-certified material under the PEFC logo.

“The endorsement is further testimony that the MTCS has made tremendous progress and improvements since it began operation in October 2001. I would like to attribute this success to the hard work of the MTCC management and staff, as well as all the Malaysian stakeholder groups for their contributions and inputs which have been very helpful in improving the scheme to meet the requirements of the PEFC”, added Dr. Freezailah.

The decision to to endorse the 2002 Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification was announced on 5 May 2009 following the outcome of the General Assembly postal vote among the PEFC members on the recommendation of the Board of Directors, based on an assessment of the MTCS by an independent assessor appointed by the PEFC Council.

The endorsement is valid for a five year period, with periodic review to ensure the continued compliance of the MTCS. The full report of the conformity assessment of the MTCS can be obtained from the PEFC website at www.pefc.org.

– End –

Editor Notes:

Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)

MTCC was established to develop and operate a voluntary national timber certification scheme, now known as the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), in order to provide independent assessments of forest management practices to ensure sustainable forest management in Malaysia as well as to meet the market demand for certified timber products. Currently, nine Forest Management Units (FMUs) accounting for a total area of 4.84 million hectares of Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) in Malaysia are certified under the MTCS. 141 timber manufacturers and exporters have been awarded the chain-of-custody certificate which qualifies them to supply MTCS-certified timber products to the market.

PEFC (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes)

PEFC is a framework for the assessment and endorsement of national forest certification systems that have been developed based on internationally recognised requirements for sustainable forest management. Since its launch in 1999, PEFC has become the largest forest certification umbrella organisation covering national systems from all over the world, delivering hundreds of millions of tonnes of wood to the processing industry and then onto the market place from currently more than 200 million hectares of certified forests. This is an area which is larger than the combined forest area of all European Union member states. PEFC has strong grass roots support from many stakeholders including the forestry sector, governments, trade associations, trade unions and non-governmental organisations.

Second Annoucement: Review of the MC&I (2002)- First Public Comment

Further to our earlier announcement regarding the above matter, this is to inform all stakeholders that we are now at the halfway mark for the review of the MC&I(2002) based on the first 60-day public comment period which has commenced on 1 April and will end on 31 May 2009.

As the Secretariat facilitating the standard review process, MTCC looks forward to receiving your feedback/comments on the MC&I(2002) by or before 31 May 2009.

Please kindly indicate your proposals for any amendments/deletions/additions, the reasons for your proposals, as well as provide your wording for any proposed changes to any Principle, Criterion, Indicator or Verifier of the MC&I(2002).  To facilitate the Secretariat’s work in compiling the comments, we would appreciate if the comments are submitted based on the following format:

 

Principle/Criterion/
Indicator/Verifier
 Proposal for amendment/deletion/
addition
Reasons for proposed amendment/deletion/
addition
Proposed wording for amendment/
addition

 
We would greatly appreciate if you could submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 603-92006008 or post to the following address:

Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
19 F, Level 19, Tower 1, Menara PGRM
No. 8, Jalan Pudu Ulu, Cheras
56100 Kuala Lumpur

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Yong Teng Koon at yongtk@mtcc.com.my or call 603-92005008.

Announcement: Review of the MC&I(2002) – First Public Comment

ANNOUNCEMENT

REVIEW OF THE MALAYSIAN CRITERIA AND INDICATORS FOR FOREST MANAGEMENT CERTIFICATION [MC&I(2002)] – FIRST PUBLIC COMMENT

(Date: 1 April 2009)

In line with our earlier announcement related to the above matter, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) is hereby putting forward the MC&I(2002) which is the existing forest management certification standard used under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), for a 60-day public comment period that starts today (1 April – 31 May 2009) as part of the first review process to further refine and improve the MC&I(2002), based on the feedback and experience gained through its application in the field.

As announced earlier, based on the Process and Proposed Timelines for the Review of MC&I(2002), the review process will see the draft revised standard be subjected to a second 30-day public comment period scheduled in November 2009 and a third 60-day public comment period in May-June 2010.

It is anticipated that the full review process of the MC&I(2002) will take a total of 16 months (from April 2009 to July 2010).

In this connection, MTCC as the Secretariat facilitating the review process would like to invite you to provide your comments on the MC&I(2002), which could include, among others, proposals for any amendments/deletions/additions to the existing Principles, Criteria, Indicators and Verifiers contained in the MC&I(2002).

Please kindly indicate your proposals for any amendments/deletions/additions, the reasons for your proposals, as well as provide your wording for any proposed changes to any Principle, Criterion, Indicator or Verifier.  To facilitate the Secretariat’s work in compiling the comments, we would appreciate if the comments are submitted based on the following format.

We would greatly appreciate if you could submit your comments to the Secretariat via e-mail at info@mtcc.com.my or facsimile at 603-92006008 or post to the following address by 31 May 2009:

Chief Executive Officer
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)
19 F, Level 19, Tower 1, Menara PGRM
No. 8, Jalan Pudu Ulu, Cheras
56100 Kuala Lumpur

For further information on the standard review process, please contact Yong Teng Koon at yongtk@mtcc.com.my or call 603-92005008.

PENGUMUMAN

SEMAKAN SEMULA KRITERIA DAN PETUNJUK BAGI PENSIJILAN PENGURUSAN HUTAN DI MALAYSIA [MC&I(2002)] – KOMEN UMUM BAGI KALI PERTAMA

(Tarikh: 1 April 2009)

Sejajar dengan pengumuman sebelum ini berkaitan dengan perkara di atas, Majlis Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCC) dengan ini mengumumkan bahawa standard bagi pensijilan pengurusan hutan iaitu MC&I(2002) yang sedang digunakan di bawah Skim Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCS) sekarang dibuka untuk tujuan komen umum kali pertama selama 60 hari bermula hari ini (1 April – 31 Mei 2009), sebagai langkah pertama proses semakan semula untuk memperbaiki MC&I(2002), berdasarkan maklumbalas dan pengalaman yang diperolehi menerusi penggunaan standard ini di lapangan.

Sepertimana yang telah diumumkan, berdasarkan kepada Proses dan Cadangan Rangkawaktu untuk Semakan Semula MC&I(2002), sepanjang proses semakan semula, draf standard akan melalui proses komen umum bagi kali kedua selama 30 hari yang dijadualkan pada bulan November 2009 dan komen umum bagi kali ketiga selama 60 hari pada bulan Mei hingga Jun 2010.

Adalah dijangkakan bahawa keseluruhan proses semakan semula standard MC&I(2002) akan mengambil masa selama 16 bulan (mulai bulan April 2009 hingga Julai 2010).

Sehubungan dengan ini, MTCC sebagai Sekretariat yang menyelaraskan proses semakan semula MC&I(2002) ingin menjemput komen-komen ke atas MC&I(2002) yang boleh meliputi, antara lain, cadangan untuk pemindaan/pengguguran/penambahan ke atas Prinsip-Prinsip, Kriteria-Kriteria, Petunjuk-Petunjuk dan Verifiers yang terkandung di dalam MC&I(2002).

Adalah diharapkan cadangan-cadangan untuk pemindaan/pengguguran/penambahan, sebab-sebab cadangan serta cadangan bentuk ayat yang sesuai bagi setiap cadangan pindaan bagi mana-mana Prinsip, Kriteria, Petunjuk dan Verifier dapat dikemukakan kepada pihak Sekretariat. Untuk memudahkan kerja pihak Sekretariat di dalam mengumpulkan semua komen, sukacita sekiranya komen-komen tersebut dapat dikemukakan dengan menggunakan format yang telah dikemukakan.

Kami amat berbesar hati sekiranya  komen-komen dapat dikemukakan kepada Sekretariat melalui e-mel di info@mtcc.com.my atau faks kepada 603-9200 6008 atau poskan kepada alamat yang berikut sebelum atau pada 31 Mei 2009:

Ketua Pegawai Eksekutif
Majlis Pensijilan Kayu Malaysia (MTCC)
19F, Level 19, Menara 1, Menara PGRM
No. 8, Jalan Pudu Ulu, Cheras
56100 Kuala Lumpur

Untuk maklumat lanjut mengenai proses semakan semula standard, sila hubungi Yong Teng Koon di yongtk@mtcc.com.my atau telefon 603-9200 5008.

MC&I(Forest Plantations) adopted as the Standard for Certification of Forest Plantations under the MTCS

The Thirty Ninth Meeting of the MTCC Board of Trustees held on 17 February 2009 has adopted the MC&I(Forest Plantations) as the standard for the certification of forest plantations under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS). The adoption of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) marks another milestone in the operation of the MTCS which has been focusing on the certification of natural forests since October 2001.

The MC&I(Forest Plantations) has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny in the form of deliberations through five Technical Working Group (TWG) meetings, two meetings of the National Steering Committee (NSC), three regional consultations, one national public consultation, as well as three field tests, over the period from February 2006 to November 2008. The milestones in the development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) are as shown in Table 1.

Some salient points of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) are as follows:

  • it is a standard adopted for the certification of industrial tree plantations (including rubber plantation); and hence would not be applicable for certification of non-wood plantations such as oil palm plantations;
  • among others, the standard emphasizes the need to balance the economic, environmental and social aspect in the establishment and management of forest plantations; and
  • forest plantations submitted for assessment under this standard after 1 January 2010 must not be established on high conservation value forest areas (please refer to Indicator 6.10.1).

In this connection, all forest plantation managers who currently manage and are in the process of establishing new forest plantations with the view of going for forest management certification under the MTCS are therefore advised to familiarize themselves with the requirements of the MC&I(Forest Plantations).

Should you need any further clarification with regard to the standard, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Yong Teng Koon at 03-92005008 or e-mail at yongtk@mtcc.com.my

Please click here to download the soft copy of the MC&I(Forest Plantations).

MTCS Dispute Resolution Procedures

The MTCC wishes to inform that the 39th Meeting of the MTCC Board of Trustees held on 17 February 2009 has approved the adoption of the technical document DRP 1/2009 entitled Dispute Resolution Procedures, as the procedures for dealing with complaints, appeals and other disputes related to the operation of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).

The document DRP 1/2009 replaces the document GL 1/2008 entitled Procedure for the Investigation and Resolution of Complaints and Appeals. The document DRP 1/2009 is a result from a review carried out by MTCC with the view to strengthen the document GL 1/2008, particularly in the light of comments made and feedback received during the evaluation of the MTCS for endorsement by the PEFC Council.

The dispute resolution procedures as detailed in document DRP 1/2009 will take effect from 17 February 2009.

Review of The Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I (2002)]

The Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)] which is the standard used for forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), operated by MTCC since October 2005, is due for its first review in 2009.  This review is in line with international practices that the certification standard used is to be reviewed at least every five years to ensure continuous improvement.

MTCC wishes to announce that the MC&I(2002) would be subject to its first review beginning April 2009 which would be conducted in line with the requirements specified in the MTCS document SSP1/2008: Rules on Standard Setting Process for Development of Timber Certification Standards.

The main body which will review the MC&I(2002) and develop the revised standard will be the Standards Review Committee (SRC). This Committee will serve as the multi-stakeholder “Forum” and its members will comprise representatives nominated by their respective stakeholder groups i.e. the social, environmental and economic interest groups, and the relevant government agencies, from the three regions of Malaysia, i.e. Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. It is proposed that the SRC shall comprise a total of 15 members.  The MTCC management will serve as the Secretariat for the SRC.

To assist the Secretariat in its work, a Panel of Experts (PoE) will be established.  The PoE will comprise experts in the economic, environmental and social aspects of forest management who can provide advice on how comments and proposals received from stakeholder groups related to the Principles, Criteria, Indicators and Verifiers in the MC&I(2002) can be incorporated into the revised standard. As stated in Terms of Reference (TOR) and Criteria for Selection of Members of the PoE, the MTCC envisages that the majority  of  these  experts are  likely  to  be  from  the  academic  and research institutions; however they could also be individuals from government and other organisations which are not directly involved in the forest certification process.

It is anticipated that the whole review process of the MC&I(2002) would take 16 months (from April 2009 to July 2010) and would entail, among others, the following key activities:

(i)    soliciting public comments from the stakeholder groups at various stages
during the review process by placing the MC&I(2002) and drafts of the
revised standard on the MTCC web site;
(ii)   compilation of public comments by the Secretariat;
convening meetings of the PoE to prepare and refine the draft standard
based on the comments received;
(iii)  consideration of  the drafts of the revised standard by the SRC; and
(iv)  conducting of three regional consultations to discuss the draft
standard with the relevant stakeholder groups in the three regions of
Malaysia.

The detailed process and proposed timelines for the review of the MC&I(2002) are as shown in Appendix I.

This announcement on the review of the MC&I(2002) has been communicated in writing to all the relevant stakeholders groups in Malaysia and we look forward to their continued cooperation and active participation in the review process.  Information and progress of the review process will be posted on the MTCC website at http://www.mtcc.com.my.

 

Expiry of Johor FMU Certificate for Forest Management

The Certificate for Forest Management (FMC 004) issued to the Johor FMU against the requirements of MC&I(2001) has expired on 5 October 2008. The Johor FMU has been assessed to the requirements of the MC&I(2002) on April 2007 but was issued with one Major Corrective Action Request (CAR) that would need to be closed out prior to being eligible for certification.

MC&I(Forest Plantations) Adopted as the Standard for Certification of Forest Plantations in Malaysia

The Eleventh Meeting of the multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee (NSC) held on 25 November 2008 has adopted the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) or in short the MC&I(Forest Plantations) as the standard for certification of forest plantations in Malaysia.

The adoption of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) marks another milestone in the work of the NSC which, in 2004 has also adopted the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification or in short the MC&I(2002), as the standard for certification of natural forests in Malaysia.

The need to develop a standard for certification of forest plantations was mooted by the NSC at its Fourth Meeting held on 25-26 January 2002, taking cognisance of the importance of forest plantations as source of raw materials for the wood-based industry in Malaysia.

Fourth Meeting of the National Steering Committee

On the recommendation of the NSC, a one-day National Workshop on Standard for Certification of Plantation Forests was held in Kuala Lumpur 31 October 2002 to ascertain the level of interest and urgency from the stakeholder groups to develop such a standard, as well as to discuss the way forward. The Workshop generated substantial discussion on the approach to be adopted in formulating the plantation standard and in charting the way forward.

National Workshop on Standard for Certification of Plantation Forests

However, as the initial focus of the NSC was on the development of a standard for the certification of natural forests in Malaysia, work on the development of the plantation standard was expedited only in 2006 with the formation of the twelve-member Technical Working Group (TWG) for the Development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations), with balanced representation by stakeholder groups and regions, i.e. Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.

Second Meeting of TWG

The development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) has been subjected to rigorous scrutiny in the form of deliberations through five TWG meetings, two meetings of the NSC, three regional consultations, one national public consultation, as well as three field tests, over the period from February 2006 to November 2008. The milestones in the development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) are as shown in Table 1.

Regional Consultation in Peninsular Malaysia

 

Regional Consultation in Sabah

 

Regional Consultation in Sarawak

 

Conduct of field test in Sabah

 

Conduct of field test in Sarawak

 

Conduct of field test in Peninsular Malaysia

 

Meeting of the Eleventh National Steering Committee

MTCC, which served as the NSC Secretariat, would like to place on record its sincere thanks and appreciation to all Members and Alternate Members of the NSC for their contribution in developing and finalizing the MC&I(Forest Plantations) as the standard for the certification of forest plantations in Malaysia, and to all Members of the TWG for their hard work and commitment in drafting the standard.

MTCC’s Response to COAC’s Reply

Dear Dr. Nicholas,

Reference is made to your letter dated 10 November 2007 (2008?) regarding the above matter.

We stand by what we have stated in our earlier letter, which is aimed at providing clarification, including the relevant background information, with the view to present a more balanced picture with regard to the conduct of the field test of the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) in Sabah, in response to the article by Ms. Puah.

We note your comments on the other developments, which are not related to the field test.  However, we do not think it is fair for you to blame MTCC for developments which are not within MTCC’s mandate and control.

MTCC will continue to place emphasis on positive engagement and participation of all relevant stakeholder groups as the way forward, especially in the development and review of certification standards used under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).

We will reciprocate your action by providing visitors to our website a link to your letter.

Yours sincerely,
Yong Teng Koon
Senior Manager
Malaysian Timber Certification Council

27 November 2008

Draft MC&I (Forest Plantations) Field Tested

The draft Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) or in short the MC&I(Forest Plantations) was subjected to field testing in the three regions of Malaysia in June-July 2008.

The aim of the field tests is to conduct a thorough evaluation of the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) in respect to practical field auditing for each Indicator and its associated Verifiers, based on consultation, documentation review and site visits in the respective region. In assessing the Indicators and associated Verifiers, recommendations could be made for amendment/exclusion of any Verifiers which are considered to be inappropriate in assessing compliance to the Indicator(s), as well as any new Verifiers to be included.

As agreed by the Fourth Meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations), a representative each from the four stakeholder groups had been invited to participate as observers in the field test of the draft standard in the respective region.  MTCC, as the Secretariat of the National Steering Committee (NSC), participated in all the three field tests, playing the role of a coordinator and facilitator.

In addition, the field tests also benefited from the participation of representatives from the state forestry agencies of each region, as well as the company which provided the test site, particularly during the discussion sessions with the assessor where useful technical inputs on the draft standard were provided.  The details of the field tests, including the participation of the various stakeholder groups, in the three regions of Malaysia are as shown in Table 1.

Upon receiving the field test reports from the assessor companies, MTCC as the Secretariat of the NSC will compile the outcomes of the various field tests for the consideration and consolidation of the next meeting of the TWG.

The consolidated draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) by the TWG would be presented for the consideration of the next meeting of the NSC scheduled in October 2008 before it is adopted for use under the MTCS. Table 2 provides a summary of the milestones in the development process of the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations).

Information Update: New Institutional Arrangement for Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS)

MTCC has been making preparations towards implementing a new institutional arrangement for its timber certification scheme since 2005 as an important measure to further enhance the acceptance of the scheme in the international market. Following these preparations, the new institutional arrangement was implemented with effect from 1 July 2008, where MTCC continues to play the role of the National Governing Body (NGB) for the scheme, while the independent assessors become the Certification Bodies (CBs) which have to be accredited to the Department of Standards Malaysia (Standards Malaysia), the national Accreditation Body.

Applications for certification will henceforth be made to the CB, which will process the application, conduct the assessment and make the decision to issue the certificate or otherwise.

As part of its preparation for the implementation of the new institutional arrangement, MTCC has branded its scheme as the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) in order to distinguish clearly between the scheme (MTCS) and the organization (MTCC) which operates it.

The new institutional arrangement for the MTCS is necessary in order to meet the requirements for endorsement by the PEFC Council and the public procurement policies of key timber importing countries in Europe.

Certified Malaysian Timber Companies Can Now Apply For Tax Deduction On Expenses Incurred In Obtaining COC Certification Under The MTCS

Malaysian timber companies holding the MTCC Certificate for Chain-of-Custody can now apply from the Inland Revenue Board of Malaysia (Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negara – LHDN) for tax deduction on expenses incurred when obtaining chain-of-custody (CoC) certification from MTCC under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), with effect from the assessment year 2007.

The Minister of Finance, in exercising the powers conferred by paragraph 154(1)(b) of the Income Tax Act 1967 [Act 53], has cited the rules as the Income Tax (Deduction for Cost of Obtaining Chain of Custody Certification from Malaysian Timber Certification Council) Rules 2008. These Rules were gazetted on 14 February 2008.

For further information, please contact MTCC.

MTCC Submits its Scheme for PEFC Endorsement

MTCC has formally submitted the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) for endorsement of the PEFC Council (Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Schemes) on 28 March 2008.

The submission is part of an important measure to further strengthen and enhance the acceptance of the MTCS in the international market. The submission was made possible following measures taken to implement a new institutional arrangement for the MTCS where MTCC plays the role of the National Governing Body (NGB) for timber certification, with the Department of Standards Malaysia (Standards Malaysia) (the national accreditation body) as the Accreditation Body (AB) which accredits qualified companies or organizations as Certification Bodies (CBs), under the MTCS.

For further information regarding MTCC submission for endorsement of the PEFC Council, please contact MTCC at info@mtcc.com.my or tel no.: 03-9200 5008.

Three More FMUS Certified Agains MC&I(2002)

The Kelantan and Perak Forest Management Units (FMUs) became the third and fourth FMUs in Peninsular Malaysia, while the Anap-Muput FMU became the first FMU in Sarawak, to be certified against the requirements of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)].

The decision to award the Certificate for Forest Management to the above three FMUs were in line with the recommendations of the independent assessors (accredited to the Department of Standards Malaysia) based on the outcomes of verification visits conducted to assess the corrective actions taken by the said FMUs to address the Major and Minor Corrective Action Requests (CARs) raised during the assessment.

The Certificate for Forest Management issued to the Kelantan FMU (FMC 008) dated 18 January 2008 and Perak FMU (FMC 006) dated 19 February 2008 will supersede the existing Certificate issued against the requirements of the MC&I(2001). The Anap-Muput FMU has been issued a Certificate (FMC 010) dated 19 February 2008.  The Certificate for Forest Management will be valid for five years with surveillance visits carried out every twelve months to ensure continued compliance to the requirements of the MC&I(2002).

Further information of the above three FMUs can be obtained from its Public Summary.

Outcome of The Public Consultation on the Draft MC&I (Forest Plantations, 30 April – 3 June 2007

BACKGROUND

The draft Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) or in short the MC&I(Forest Plantations) was subjected to public consultation/comment over a 60-day duration from 30 April to 30 June 2007. 

The notification for public consultation/comment on the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) was made through the MTCC website, MTCC Newsletter, via e-mail as well as air-mail where soft/hard copies of the draft standard were enclosed and sent to 144 organizations representing the various social, economic and environmental stakeholder groups, and relevant government agencies in Malaysia, to solicit their comments and feedback on the draft standard.

As a result of the public consultation, a total of six (6) comments were received from the Malaysian stakeholders with regard to the draft standard.  A summary of the comments received was compiled by the Secretariat of the National Steering Committee (NSC) as shown in Table 1

DEVELOPMENTS

The comments received from the Malaysian stakeholders were deliberated by the Fourth Meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) held on 21 August 2007.  The outcome of the deliberation by the TWG is tabulated in Table 2.

As a result of the Fourth Meeting of the TWG, a revised draft of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) has been prepared by the NSC Secretariat.  

Based on the “Rules on Standard Setting Process for Development of Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations),” the Fourth Meeting of the TWG agreed that the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) has already been subject to a national consultation from 30 April to 30 June 2007 and therefore proposed that the draft standard be subjected to field testing in the three regions of Malaysia, i.e. Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.  The TWG has also agreed to revise the timeline for the development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations) accordingly.

The field test of the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) will be conducted by independent assessors to be appointed by the NSC Secretariat.  A representative each from the  various stakeholder groups (social, environmental, econoimc and relevant government agencies) will be invited to participate in the field tests in the respective region as observers.

Should you have any queries regarding the above matter, please do not hesistate to contact the NSC Secretariat via e-mail, standard mail or facsimile at the following contact address.

NSC Secretariat
c/o Malaysian Timber Certification Council
19 F, Level 19, Tower 1, Menara PGRM
No. 8, Jalan Pudu Ulu, Cheras
56100 Kuala Lumpur
(Attn: Mr. Yong Teng Koon)
Tel. : 603-92005008
Faks : 603-92006008
E-mail:
yongtk@mtcc.com.my

Expiry of Validity of the Certificate for Forest Management

The Certificate for Forest Management issued to the Selangor FMU (FMC 02) and the Terengganu FMU (FMC 03) against the requirements of MC&I(2001) have both expired on 13 December 2007 and will not be renewed, in line with MTCC’s decision to switch from the use of the MC&I(2001) to MC&I(2002).  Both the Selangor and Terengganu FMUs have been assessed to the requirements of the MC&I(2002) but were issued with Major Corrective Action Requests (CARs) that would need to be closed out prior to being eligible for certification.

In light of the above development, all logssourced from the Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) in the Selangor and Terengganu FMUs beginning 1 January 2008 (i.e. all logs accompanied by Removal Passes issued dated 1 January 2008 and onwards) will not be recognised as certified material under the MTCC timber certification scheme. This ruling would apply until the FMUs concerned have successfully undergone the verification assessments to the requirements of the MC&I(2002) and have been awarded a new Certificate for Forest Management.

·

Pahang FMU Second to be Certified Under MC&I (2002)

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) is pleased to announce that the Pahang FMU has become the second FMU after the Negeri Sembilan FMU to be awarded with the new Certificate for Forest Management against the requirements of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)].

The award of the Certificate for Forest Management to the Pahang FMU was based on the outcome of a verification assessment conducted by an independent accredited assessor, i.e. SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. (“SGS”) on 3-7 September 2007.  As a result of the verification assessment, the one remaining Major Corrective Action Request (CAR) and nine Minor CARs raised during the main assessment were closed-out.  Three Minor CARs were maintained and two new Minor CARs raised.  However, as these Minor CARs do not preclude the FMU from being recommended for certification, SGS has recommended that the Pahang FMU be eligible for the award of the new Certificate for Forest Management against the requirements of the MC&I(2002).

The Report on Verification Assessment of Pahang Forest Management Unit for Forest Management Certification prepared by SGS was tabled for the consideration of the MTCC Certification Committee during its Forty-First Meeting held on 13 November  2007.  The Committee concurred with the recommendation made by SGS and therefore agreed to award a new Certificate for Forest Management to the Pahang FMU. The public summary of the Assessment Report can be viewed at MTCC’s website: http://www.mtcc.com.my.

The Certificate for Forest Management issued to the Pahang FMU bearing No. FMC 001 dated 13 November 2007 will supersede the earlier Certificate issued to the FMU against the requirements of the MC&I(2001).  The Certificate will be valid for five years and surveillance audits will be carried out every 12 months to ensure the FMU’s continued compliance to the requirements of the MC&I(2002).

Overseas Based Accredited CBS Recognised Overseas Timber Companies Can Now Apply for CoC Certification

In line with its decision to use only Certification Bodies (CBs) accredited with the Department of Standards Malaysia (DSM) under the relevant ISO Guides such as Guides 62, 65 or 66 under other programmes [such as the ISO 9001 (quality management system) and ISO 14000 (environmental management system)] with effect from 1st April 2007, MTCC has also decided that overseas-based CBs that are accredited against a CoC certification programme endorsed by the PEFC Council can now apply to conduct assessments and surveillance visits against the Requirements for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RCOC) under the MTCC scheme.

For this purpose, interested overseas-based CBs are required to provide information of their existing accreditation with the relevant accreditation body under the endorsed PEFC scheme. Under this arrangement, two overseas-based CBs have been accepted into the list of recognised CBs. They are Control Union Certifications B.V. (CUC) based in Zwolle, The Netherlands, and Certification and Timber Grading Limited (CATG) based in Lancashire, United Kingdom.

Overseas timber companies which are interested in applying for MTCC CoC
certification can be assessed by these recognised CBs.

Companies wishing to apply for CoC certification are required to complete the application form for “Chain-of-Custody Certification (for overseas company)” and submit it to MTCC. The application can be made online. Alternatively the application form can be downloaded from this website under ‘application forms’.

Terengganu FMU Certificate for Forest Management extended

The validity of the Certificate for Forest Management awarded to the Terengganu FMU has been extended to 13 December 2007.

This decision was made at the Fortieth Meeting of the Certification Committee held on 18 October 2007, based on the Report of the Third Surveillance Visit of the Terengganu FMU against the requirements of the MC&I(2001). The surveillance visit was conducted by SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.

With the extension of the validity of the Certificate, all timber sourced and transported out from the Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) in the Terengganu FMU bearing Removal Passes dated 18 October 2007 and later can now be recognized as MTCC-certified materials.

Negeri Sembilan FMU First to be Certified Against MC&I (2002)

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) wishes to announce that the Negeri Sembilan FMU is the first FMU to be awarded with the Certificate for Forest Management against the requirements of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification or in short the MC&I(2002).

The award of the Certificate for Forest Management to the Negeri Sembilan FMU was based on the outcome of an assessment against the requirements of the MC&I(2002) conducted by an independent assessor, i.e. SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. (“SIRIM QAS”)  on 9-13 April 2007.  The draft Report on the Assessment of Negeri Sembilan Forest Management Unit for Forest Management Certification prepared by SIRIM QAS was subjected to the Client’s comment as well as a review process by two Peer Reviewers.  The finalized Assessment Report incorporating the comments of the Client and the Peer Reviewers was tabled for the consideration and decision of MTCC Certification Committee during its 38th Meeting held on 30 August 2007.

In all, a total of six Minor Corrective Action Requests (CARs) were raised to the Negeri Sembilan FMU as a result of the assessment.  As no Major CAR was raised and the Minor CARs do not preclude certification, SIRIM QAS has recommended that the Negeri Sembilan FMU be eligible for the award of a new Certificate for Forest Management against the requirements of the MC&I(2002).  The MTCC Certification Committee concurred with the recommendation made by SIRIM QAS and therefore agreed to award a new Certificate for Forest Management to the Negeri Sembilan FMU. The public summary of the Assessment Report can be viewed at MTCC’s website: http://www.mtcc.com.my.

The Certificate for Forest Management bearing No. FMC 007 dated 30 August 2007 will supersede the earlier Certificate issued to the FMU against the requirements of the MC&I(2001).  The Certificate will be valid for five years and surveillance audits will be carried out every 12 months to ensure the FMU’s continued compliance to the requirements of the MC&I(2002).

Public Notification: Forest Management Assessment of Anap Muput Forest Management Unit (FMU), Sarawak

PEMBERITAHUAN UMUM

PENILAIAN PENGURUSAN HUTAN KE ATAS UNIT PENGURUSAN HUTAN (FMU) ANAP MUPUT, SARAWAK

FMU Anap-Muput merupakan FMU kedua di Sarawak yang melalui pensijilan di bawah skim pensijilan kayu MTCC. FMU ini yang meliputi kawasan seluas 106,820 hektar terletak di Daerah Tatau, di dalam Bahagian Bintulu dan diuruskan oleh Zedtee Sdn. Bhd.; kontraktor utama bagi Shin Yang Trading Sdn. Bhd. yang mana merupakan pemegang lesen bagi FMU ini. Peta lokasi FMU ini adalah seperti di Lampiran I.

Satu pra-penilaian untuk menentukan sama ada FMU ini bersedia untuk penilaian terhadap keperluan Kriteria dan Petunjuk untuk Pensijilan Pengurusan Hutan di Malaysia [MC&I(2002)] telah dijalankan oleh satu kumpulan penilai dari SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. [“SIRIM QAS”] pada 22-26 Mei 2006. Penilaian penuh FMU terhadap keperluan MC&I(2002) akan dikendalikan oleh SIRIM QAS pada 23-27 Julai 2007.

MTCC mengalu-alukan sebarang komen atau pandangan dari semua kumpulan berkepentingan (stakeholders) berkaitan dengan pensijilan FMU ini terhadap keperluan MC&I(2002). Adalah diharapkan komen-komen dapat disalurkan kepada MTCC sama ada melalui faks (03-9200 6008) atau melalui e-mail di info@mtcc.com.my sebelum atau pada 21 Julai 2007.

 

PUBLIC NOTIFICATION

FOREST MANAGEMENT ASSESSMENT OF ANAP MUPUT FOREST MANAGEMENT UNIT (FMU), SARAWAK

The Anap-Muput FMU is the second FMU in Sarawak to undergo certification under the MTCC timber certification scheme.  The Anap-Muput FMU which is located in the Tatau District, Bintulu Division is managed by Zedtee Sdn. Bhd., the main contractor to Shin Yang Trading Sdn. Bhd. which is the Licensee of the FMU.

A pre-assessment to determine whether the Anap-Muput FMU is ready for the assessment against the requirements of the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest management Certification [MC&I(2002)]  was conducted by an assessment team from SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd.[“SIRIM QAS”] on 22-26 May 2006.  The full assessment of compliance of the FMU to the requirements of the MC&I(2002) is now scheduled to be conducted by SIRIM QAS on 23-27 July 2007.  A location map of the FMU is attached as Appendix I.

MTCC welcomes any comments or feedback from all stakeholder groups with regard to the certification of this FMU against the requirements of the MC&I(2002).  Please kindly forward your comments to MTCC either by facsimile (03-92006008) or via email at info@mtcc.com.my before or by 21 July 2007.

Appendix I

Public Notification and Call For Comments on Draft Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) [MC&I (Forest Plantations)]

BACKGROUND

The need to develop a standard for certification of forest plantations was discussed by the various meetings  of the multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee (NSC) beginning at its Fourth Meeting held on 25-26 January 2002. The NSC recommended that a national workshop be convened to ascertain the level of  interest and urgency from the relevant stakeholders to develop such a standard, as well as to discuss the way forward. It is the intention of the MTCC to use this standard in assessing forest plantations for the purpose of forest management certification under the MTCC scheme.

Subsequently, a one-day National Workshop on Standard for Certification of Plantation Forests was held in  Kuala Lumpur 31 October 2002. The Workshop was attended by 129 participants representing all the stakeholder groups in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, including many from the plantation industry.

The Workshop generated substantial discussion on the approach to be adopted in formulating the plantation  standard and in charting the way forward. Among others, the Workshop recommended that a Technical Working Group (TWG) be formed to draft the plantation standard, utilising Principles 1-10 and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC P&C) as the template.  The Sixth Meeting of the NSC held on 12 June 2003 agreed that a 12-member TWG with balanced representation by stakeholder groups and regions  be formed to draft the standard.  Through regional consultations, the 12-member TWG was formed and was mandated by the Ninth Meeting of the NSC held on 16 February 2006 to develop the draft standard.

DEVELOPMENTS

To facilitate the work of the TWG, a consultant was appointed in April 2006 to prepare a Working Document of the draft standard.  The Working Document prepared by the consultant was subjected to a review by an expert group comprising of plantation practitioners and experts in May 2006, prior to the document being submitted for the consideration of the TWG.

Utilising the Working Document prepared by the consultant, the TWG met twice, i.e. on 5-6 July and 7 August 2006, to deliberate and formulate the first draft of the MC&I(Forest Plantations).  This first draft was subsequently subjected to further deliberation by the stakeholders in the three regions of Malaysia i.e.  on 18-19 September 2006 in Sarawak, 11-12 October 2006 in Sabah and 15-16 November 2006 in Peninsular Malaysia.

As a result of the regional consultations, the Indicators and Verifiers of the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) for the three regions were finalised. The Third Meeting of the TWG held on 7 February 2007 further considered the various amendments made at the regional consultations (which included the proposed deletion of three Criteria) with a view to consolidate and streamline these amendments into a national standard.

The outcome of the three regional consultations and the recommendations of the Third Meeting of the TWG were considered by the Tenth Meeting of the NSC held on 27 March 2007.   Among others, the NSC concurred with the recommendations of the TWG to retain two of the Criteria recommended for deletion (with amendments) and further streamlined the wording of some of the Principles in view of the fact that the MC&I(Forest Plantations) no longer follows fully the FSC P&C as the template. The Meeting also agreed that the revised draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) be subject to public comments over a 60-day period in line with the international norm for standard setting process.

CALL FOR PUBLIC COMMENTS

In accordance with the timeline for the development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations),  the NSC Secretariat is now subjecting the Draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) for public comment over a 60-day period, i.e. from 30 April – 30 June 2007.

The NSC Secretariat therefore welcomes comments from all stakeholder groups on the Draft MC&I(Forest Plantations).  Comments can be submitted via e-mail, standard mail or facsimile to Mr. Yong Teng Koon (contact information below).  All comments received will be taken into consideration in the finalisation of the draft standard.

Yong Teng Koon
NSC Secretariat
c/o Malaysian Timber Certification Council
19 F, Level 19, Tower 1, Menara PGRM
No. 8, Jalan Pudu Ulu, Cheras
56100 Kuala Lumpur
Tel. : 603-92005008
Faks : 603-92006008
E-mail: yongtk@mtcc.com.my

UK Government Continues to Accept MTCC Scheme as Assurance of Legally Harvested Timber

The UK Government will continue to accept the MTCC scheme as assurance of legally harvested timber.  According to a press release issued by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) on 18 December 2006, five certification schemes designed to combat illegal logging and protect forests worldwide have been given the UK Government seal of approval after a detailed review to check their continuing effectiveness.

                                                                      

The first review of the schemes, including the MTCC scheme, by the Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) found that the standards and procedures of the schemes continue to merit their current CPET approval status that was first given in November 2004.  The assessment by CPET, an expert group appointed by DEFRA, is to provide the assurance to central government departments in the UK that they are buying timber from responsible sources.

According to CPET, from now on, all MTCC-certified timber products meet the requirements for legality.  Previously, only products containing 100% certified raw materials (e.g. sawn timber and mouldings) met the requirements.

The review of the MTCC scheme was based on the current forest management standard used, i.e. the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2001)], which is based on the 1998 International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests.  Although the MTCC scheme was assessed as not quite meeting the CPET criteria for sustainability, CPET has acknowledged that MTCC is working to improve its standard in this respect.

MTCC is in the process of using a new standard, the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)] for the next phase of its scheme, and will work closely with DEFRA and CPET during the period leading to the next review, which is due in 2008, by providing information on the use of the MC&I(2002) and other developments in the MTCC scheme.

The DEFRA press release is available at www.defra.gov.uk
The full CPET Review is available at www.proforest.net/cpet/documents

Pahang, Selangor Certificates Extended, Terengganu Certificate Expires

The Certificate for Forest Management issued to the Pahang and Selangor FMUs against the requirements of MC&I(2001) and valid till 13 December 2006, have been extended for another year, up to 13 December 2007.  However, the Certificate issued to the Terengganu FMU has expired on 13 December 2006.

The MTCC Board of Trustees at its 29th meeting had agreed to extend the validity of the Certificate issued to the three FMUs involved for another year up to 13 December 2007, with the condition that the FMUs showed continued compliance with the requirements of the MC&I(2001) through surveillance visits to be conducted before the expiry of the Certificate. This decision was to ensure the smooth transition for the change from the use of the MC&I(2001) to the new forest management standard [MC&I(2002)].

The surveillance visit of the Pahang FMU was conducted in October 2006.  MTCC has decided to extend the Certificate issued to the Pahang FMU based on the surveillance report and recommendations made by the independent assessor.

For the Selangor FMU, the surveillance visit was conducted in November 2006.  MTCC has also decided to extend the Certificate issued to the Selangor FMU based on the assessor’s report and recommendations.

For the Terengganu FMU however, the surveillance visit had not been conducted by 13 December 2006, the expiry date of the Certificate. The Terengganu State Forestry Department has informed MTCC that the said surveillance visit will only be conducted in January/February 2007.

With the expiry of the Certificate, all logs sourced from the Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) in the Terengganu FMU with effect from 1 January 2007 (i.e. all logs accompanied by Removal Passes dated from 1 January 2007 onwards) will not be recognised as certified material under the MTCC scheme.  This will be in effect until the Terengganu FMU successfully undergoes the surveillance visit to the requirements of the MC&I(2001).

All holders of the MTCC Certificate for Chain-of-Custody have been informed by MTCC to take the necessary measures to comply with the above ruling in the purchase and processing of MTCC-certified materials (logs), and in the sales and exports of MTCC-certified timber products.

Regional Consultations on MC&I(Forest Plantations)

The regional consultation for Sarawak to deliberate on the draft Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) or in short MC&I(Forest Plantations) was held in Kuching on 18-19 September 2006 (see details in Latest News item dated 24 July 2006).

The consultation in Kuching was attended by a total of 48 participants, representing the various social, environmental and economic stakeholder groups, and representatives from the relevant government agencies (RGAs) in Sarawak. As a result of the consultation, various recommendations for amendments were made to a number of Indicators and Verifiers formulated for Sarawak in the MC&I(Forest Plantations).

The regional consultations for Sabah and Peninsular Malaysia have been scheduled as follows:

Sabah

Date: 11-12 October 2006 (Wednesday & Thursday)
Venue: Promenade Hotel, Kota Kinabalu

Peninsular Malaysia

Date: 15-16 November 2006 (Wednesday & Thursday)
Venue: Melia Hotel, Jalan Imbi, Kuala Lumpur

All relevant stakeholders are cordially invited to participate in the consultation in their respective regions.  Should you have any enquiries, please do not hesitate to contact Mr. Yong Teng Koon of the NSC Secretariat at yongtk@mtcc.com.my or tel: 03-92005008

The Joint Project Between MTCC and The City of Hamburg, Germany on MC&I(2002)

A joint project between MTCC and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (FHH), Germany or in short the MTCC-Hamburg project which commenced on 1 June 2006 for a two-year period until 31 May 2008 is one of the outcomes of the Malaysian Timber Certification Mission to Europe which took place on 1-10 June 2002. The main objective of the joint project is to provide scientific support to refine the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)], to fulfil the requirements of the FHH for the use of tropical timber, as well as to ensure its practical application in the field.

As part of the mutual agreement between MTCC and FHH under the MTCC-Hamburg project, MTCC will ensure that the FHH will have access to MTCC-certified timber products which comply with the policy of the FHH and in turn, FHH shall recognise the MTCC scheme on a conditional basis for a two-year period beginning 1 June 2006. This means that the FHH will accept on a preliminary basis the MTCC timber certification scheme using the MC&I(2001) and will permit the use of timber products from FMUs certified under this scheme. Full acceptance of the MTCC scheme by the FHH shall be granted when the MC&I(2002) is used fully in the scheme. The FHH will then accept certificates issued by certifiers accredited by MTCC.

Under the MTCC-Hamburg project, a joint project team (JPT) comprising German and Malaysian forest management and certification specialists will be formed and work independently in cooperation with MTCC and other relevant organisations in Malaysia to provide the necessary expertise and technical advice in the implementation of the project.

A junior scientist from the University of Hamburg, Mr. Andreas H. Knoell, has been attached to the MTCC office under this project. Other organisations which will be actively involved with the project are the Forestry Departments in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, and forestry research organizations such as the Forest Research Institute Malaysia. A number of workshops will be held during the two-year period of the MTCC-Hamburg project,  in which representatives of the stakeholder groups will be invited to participate.

Annoucement: Development of Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations)

This is to inform all stakeholders that a 12-member Technical Working Group (TWG) comprising representatives from multi-stakeholder groups, i.e. environmental, social, economic and relevant government agencies, nominated during respective regional consultations in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, have been formed to develop a standard for the certification of forest plantations, i.e. the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) or in short MC&I(Forest Plantations).

The need to develop a standard for the certification of forest plantations in Malaysia was deliberated at the various meetings of the multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee (NSC) including the convening of a National Workshop on Standard for Certification of Plantation Forests.  This led to the decision to form a special TWG to undertake the task of developing the standard.  This is in view of the growing importance of forest plantations as a source of logs, and in providing raw materials to the furniture, medium density fibreboard (MDF) and moulding sectors in Malaysia, as well as the fact some of these products have been exported to socially and environmentally sensitive markets where certification is increasingly demanded.

The 12-member TWG held its meeting on 5-6 July 2006. For more information related to the development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations), all stakeholders are requested to contact the Members of the TWG from their respective regions or the NSC Secretariat. Contact details of the Members of the TWG and the NSC Secretariat are as shown in Table 1 while the proposed schedule of implementation of activities of the TWG is as shown in Table 2.

Table 1: Contact Details of Members of TWG and NSC Secretariat

 

Stakeholder Group Sabah Sarawak Peninsular Malaysia
Social Dr. Benedict Topin

Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA)

Pejabat Koissan Hangkod Koissan

7 Km Jln Penampang

W.D.T 39

89509 Penampang

Tel: 088-713690

Fax: 088-713350

Email: bovis@asia.com

Ding Seling

Orang Ulu National Association (OUNA)

No10, Lot 715

Jalan Wui Lee

Off Jalan Datuk Tawi Sli’

93250 KUCHING

Fax: 082-575660

Email: ding_seling@yahoo.com

Mohd Khalid Atan

Timber Employees Union Peninsular Malaysia (TEUPM)

No. 10A, Tingkat Satu, Jalan AU 5C/14,

Ulu Kelang, Ampang,

54200 KUALA LUMPUR

Tel:          03-4107 3594

Fax:         03-4107 8180

Email: teupmgs@tm.net.my

Environmental Linda E Giyung

WWF Malaysia (Sabah Branch)

Suite 1-6-W11, 6th Floor, CPS tower

Centre Point Complex

No. 1, Jalan Centre Point

88000 Kota Kinabalu

P. O. Box 14393

88850 Kota Kinabalu

Tel: 088-262 420

Fax: 088-242 531

Email: lgiyung@wwf.org.my

Rebecca D’ Cruz

MNS – Sarawak Branch

c/o Aonyx Environmental

18, Jalan Urat Mata

Tabuan Jaya

93350 KUCHING

Tel: 082-428 004

Fax: 082-424 084

Email: aonyx@po.jaring.my

 

Sanath Kumaran

Wetlands International – Malaysia’s Office

3A37, Kelana Centre Point,
Kelana Jaya,

No. 3, Jalan SS 7/19,

47300 PETALING JAYA.

Tel: 03-7804 6770

Fax: 03-7804 6772

Email: sanath@wetlands.org.my

 

Economic Mohd Daud Tampokong

Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd (Yayasan Sabah)

Tingkat 9, Wisma Innoprise

Teluk Likas

Peti Surat 11623

88817 Kota Kinabalu

Tel: 088-326 300

Fax: 088-243 244

Email: daudtampokong@gmail.com

 

Barney Chan

Sarawak Timber Association (STA)

11th Floor, Wisma STA,

No. 26, Jalan Datuk Abang Abdul Rahim,

93450 KUCHING

Tel: 082-332 222

Fax: 082-487 888

Email: sta@sta.org.my

belachan@aol.com

Dr. Chin Tuck Yuan

Mieco Wood Products Sdn. Bhd.

Lot 74, Kawasan Perindustrian Gebeng,

26080 Kuantan, Pahang

Tel: 09-583 5120

Fax: 09-583 3408

Email: dc@mieco.com.my

 

Relevant Government Agency Jeflus Sinajin

Sabah Forestry Department

Locked Beg No. 68

90009 Sandakan

Tel: 089-669 652 ext(428)

Fax: 089-671 713

Email: Jeflus.Sinajin@Sabah.gov.my

 

Elbson Marajan

Sustainable Forestry and Compliance Unit

Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn Bhd (SFC)

Level 12, Office Tower

Hock Lee Centre

Jalan Datuk Abang Abdul Rahim

93450 KUCHING

Tel: 082-348 001

Fax: 082-488 654

Email: elbsonmp@sarawakforestry.com

Tuan Haji Zulkefli bin Haji Mokhtar

Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia (FDPM)

Jalan Sultan Salahuddin

50660 KUALA LUMPUR

Tel: 03-2616 4567

Fax: 03-2692 5657

Email:  zulkefli@forestry.gov.my

 

NSC Secretariat NSC Secretariat

c/o Malaysian Timber Certification Council

19F, Level 19, Menara PGRM,

No. 8, Jalan Pudu Ulu, Cheras,

56100 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tel: 603-9200 5008                                Fax: 603-9200 6008

Email: mtcc@tm.net.my

 

 

Table 2: Proposed Schedule of Implementation of Activities of TWG

 

No. Activity Date
1. Formation of TWG February 2006
2. Preparation of a Working Document on draft Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) [MC&I(Forest Plantations)] by appointed consultant March-April 2006
3. Expert Group Meeting to discuss Working Document prepared by Consultant 25 May 2006
3. First meeting of TWG to initiate preparation of 1st draft of MC&I(Forest Plantations) 5-6 July 2006
4. Second meeting of TWG to finalise 1st draft of MC&I(Forest Plantations) 3 August 2006
5. Regional Consultations on 1st draft of MC&I(Forest Plantations)[Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia] August to September 2006
6. Third meeting of TWG to consider feedback from regional consultations and prepare 2nd draft 17 October 2006
7. 2nd draft of MC&I(Forest Plantations) placed on website for public comments November 2006
8. National Consultation to adopt final draft of MC&I(Forest Plantations) January 2007
9. Field testing of MC&I(Forest Plantations) February 2007
10. Fourth meeting of TWG to finalise MC&I(Forest Plantations) March 2007
11. Adoption of MC&I(Forest Plantations) by NSC April 2007

 

First Timber Company in Sabah Awarded MTCC Certificate for Chain-of-Custody

Carl Ronnow (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. has become the first timber company in Sabah to be awarded the MTCC Certificate for Chain-of-Custody (COC 090) on 14 June 2006. The scope of the certification is for sawn timber and this will allow the company to export Malaysian sawn timber carrying the MTCC logo.

Carl Ronnow (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. began its operations in 1998 in Sabah as a wholly owned subsidiary of DLH Nordisk A/S, Denmark.

Since the beginning of 2006, nine timber companies have been awarded the MTCC Certificate. Hence, as of July 2006, a total of 92 timber companies (both manufacturers and exporters) has been awarded the MTCC Certificate for COC. The list of these companies can be obtained from MTCC’s website.

Implementation of New Institutional Arrangement for MTCC Scheme

As an important measure to further strengthen and enhance the acceptance of the MTCC scheme in the international market, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) will be implementing a number of activities to establish a new institutional arrangement for the MTCC scheme. The new institutional arrangement is one of the measure taken to meet the requirements for endorsement by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) and the timber procurement policies which have been implemented by importing countries (such as the United Kingdom and Denmark) or are in the process of being finalised (such as in Germany and The Netherlands).

In the present institutional arrangement(click), MTCC plays the role of the National Governing Body (NGB) as well as the Certification Body (CB) which issues certificates based on assessments by independent assessors. Under the new arrangement(click), MTCC will continue to play the role of the NGB in the timber certification scheme with, the independent assessors taking on the role of CBs which would need to be accredited to the Department of Standards Malaysia (DSM), Malaysia’s national Accreditation Body (AB).

A target date of 1 April 2008 has been set for the establishment and operation of the new institutional arrangement. Thus, all assessments and surveillance visits will be conducted by CBs which have been accredited to DSM under the forest management and chain-of-custody certification accreditation programme. The CBs will also be responsible for issuing the MTCC certificate to any applicant which has been assessed and found to comply with the relevant certification standard.

As part of the process to encourage the assessors to become accredited to the DSM as soon as possible, with effect from 1 April 2007, only CBs which have been accredited with DSM under the relevant ISO Guides such as Guides 62, 65 or 66 under other programmes [such as the ISO 9001 (quality management system) and ISO 14000 (environmental management system)] will be appointed to conduct assessments and surveillance visits under the MTCC scheme.

MTCC Certificates Accepted Under The Netherlands Keurhout Protocol For Legal Origin

Seven Forest Management Units (FMUs) and 24 timber companies holding the MTCC certificates have been accepted under the Keurhout Protocol for Legal Origin (KH-LET) in The Netherlands (as at February 2006).  With this acceptance, MTCC-certified timber products originating from these FMUs and exported by these companies are allowed to carry the Keurhout Legal Timber logo.

The KH-LET includes three main aspects which require validation, i.e. (i) the requirements regarding the third party certifier; (ii) the assessment scheme; and (iii) the standard.  The KH-LET only accepts timber products containing 100% certified materials. 

Of the 24 Chain-of-Custody Certificate holders, 12 have been fully admitted while the other 12 have been partly admitted to the KH-LET system, meaning that only part of the MTCC-certified timber exported by these 12 companies has been recognised as KH-LET timber.

MTCC is in the process of submitting the assessment / surveillance reports of more certificate holders for the consideration by the Keurhout Board of Experts and is optimistic that more MTCC certificate holders will be accepted under the KH-LET.

The 24 Chain-of-Custody Certificate holders are as follows:-

 

No.

Company

Certificate Number

Admission

  1. 1.       
Bortim Sdn. Bhd., Petaling Jaya, Selangor                                             COC 001 (Partly admitted)
  1. 2.       
Mentakab Sawmill Sdn. Bhd., Temerloh, Pahang                                  COC 002 (Fully admitted)
  1. 3.       
United Trading & Sawmill Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lipis, Pahang                        COC 003 (Partly admitted)
  1. 4.       
Maran Road Sawmill Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur            COC 004 (Partly admitted)
  1. 5.       
Pan Resources Sdn. Bhd., Petaling Jaya, Selangor                                 COC 005 (Partly admitted)
  1. 6.       
Mahawangsa Timber Industries Sdn. Bhd., Mentakab, Pahang COC 006 (Fully admitted)
  1. 7.       
Kilang Papan Datuk Wan Ahmad (Raub) Sdn. Bhd., Raub, Pahang COC 007 (Fully admitted)
  1. 8.       
Asrama Raya Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur                        COC 008 (Fully admitted)
  1. 9.       
Lionex (M) Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur                           COC 009 (Partly admitted)
  1. 10.   
Exsell Corporation Sdn. Bhd., Petaling Jaya, Selangor               COC 010 (Partly admitted)
  1. 11.   
Finewood Export Associates Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur            COC 011 (Fully admitted)
  1. 12.   
Costraco Sdn. Bhd., Petaling Jaya, Selangor                                         COC 018 (Partly admitted)
  1. 13.   
TSL Timber Sdn. Bhd., Kalumpang, Selangor                           COC 019 (Fully admitted)
  1. 14.   
Salak Soon Lee Sawmill Sdn. Bhd., Salak, Selangor                 COC 021 (Fully admitted)
  1. 15.   
Seng Peng Sawmills Sdn. Bhd., Kuantan, Pahang                                  COC 022 (Fully admitted)
  1. 16.   
Lionvest Timber Industries Sdn. Bhd., Temoh, Perak                            COC 023 (Partly admitted)
  1. 17.   
Suria Dayapi Timber Products Sdn. Bhd., Kuala Lumpur COC 024 (Partly admitted)
  1. 18.   
Kilang Papan Bukit Emas Sdn. Bhd., Raub, Pahang                              COC 036 (Fully admitted)
  1. 19.   
Victory Enterprise Sdn. Bhd., Klang, Selangor                          COC 037 (Partly admitted)
  1. 20.   
Leong Seng Sawmill Sdn. Bhd., Kuantan, Pahang                                 COC 039 (Fully admitted)
  1. 21.   
Papanjaya Sdn. Bhd., Semenyih, Selangor                                            COC 042 (Fully admitted)
  1. 22.   
Sim Seng Huat Timber Industries Sdn. Bhd., Klang, Selangor           COC 043 (Partly admitted)
  1. 23.   
Guan Hin Sawmill & Hardware Sdn. Bhd., Chemor, Perak                        COC 045 (Fully admitted)
  1. 24.   
Lengkap Arif Sdn. Bhd., Batu Caves, Selangor                         COC 051 (Partly admitted)

EU Parliament Recognition for PEFC

The European Parliament considers PEFC and FSC certification systems to be equally suitable in providing consumers with assurances of sustainable forest management.

This was announced in a February 2006 report which evaluated the implementation of the EU forestry strategy which was adopted by the Parliament. The resolution, which has been brought to the attention of the European Council and the European Commission, also calls for the promotion of mutual recognition of the two global certification schemes.

MTCC is a member of the PEFC since November 2002 and is currently taking steps to submit its scheme for endorsement within the PEFC’s framework for mutual recognition.

The full resolution adopted by the EU Parliament is available at www.europarl.eu.int

Danish Company NEPCon Becomes First Overseas-Based Assessor To Be Registered With MTCC

MTCC had in 2004 amended its procedures to allow applications for the registration of overseas-based assessors under its timber certification scheme. Following this development, MTCC has recently approved the registration of NEPCon (Nature, Ecology and People Consult), a company based in Denmark as the first overseas-based independent assessor for chain-of-custody certification.

By the end of 2005, 83 timber companies have been awarded the MTCC Certificate for Chain-of-Custody. Over the years, the export of MTCC-certified timber products has increased to more destinations in Europe.  By the end of December 2005, a total of 55,400 m3 of MTCC-certified sawn timber, mouldings, laminated finger-jointed timber and plywood has been exported to The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Greece, Denmark, Poland and Italy. MTCC-certified sawn timber has been exported to Denmark since August 2005.

MTCC Response To Greenpeace International’s Report Entitled “Missing Links”

MTCC’S RESPONSE TO GREENPEACE INTERNATIONAL’S REPORT ENTITLED “MISSING LINKS”

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) notes with regret yet again another attempt by Greenpeace International to undermine the MTCC timber certification scheme and promote its preferred certification scheme, through the release of a report entitled Missing Links.

It is regretted that the report has been prepared based on information Greenpeace has obtained, and interpreted in a manner to suit its own purpose, including drawing its own conclusions despite the lack of proof.

MTCC nevertheless would like to provide the following information and clarification in response to some issues raised in this report:

Use of Removal Pass

MTCC wishes to clarify that under the Requirements for Chain-of-Custody (RCOC), a supplier of MTCC-certified material has to provide a copy of the valid Certificate for Forest Management or Certificate for Chain-of-Custody, as the case may be.

The MTCC chain-of-custody system recognizes the vital role the Removal Pass (which is a legal document) plays in providing the linkage between the trees in the certified forest from which logs have been harvested, and the logs that are delivered to the first point of processing, such as sawmills and plywood mills. Among the important information that are recorded in the Removal Pass are the harvesting licence number [which identifies the Permanent Reserved Forest (PRF) from which the logs are harvested], name of licence holder, conveyor details (e.g. lorry number), type of forest product, species and sizes. If the PRF is part of a certified Forest Management Unit (FMU), the Removal Pass confirms that the logs harvested are from that particular certified FMU.

In the case of Peninsular Malaysia, the Forestry Department has instituted an effective tree and log tagging system to monitor the movement of harvested logs from tree stump through log transportation (via checking stations) until the first point of processing (sawmill or plywood mill). Hence the involvement of logging contractors does not present any problems as, at the forest checking stations, the details of the logs on the lorry, as shown on the tags, must match the tree tag numbers recorded by the Forestry Department in the Tree Tagging Book (Buku Penandaan Pokok). This will ensure that the logs removed are from trees of the right species and sizes, and are from the right licensed areas. Furthermore, copies of the harvesting licence, which contain details of the licence holders and logging contractors, are available at the forest checking stations for cross-checking purposes. In short, all the documentation and information related to the Removal Pass provide proof of the linkage from the tree stump to the first processing point.

In view of the situation as explained above, MTCC does not see the need to do an audit of the Removal Pass as suggested by the report.

It must be noted that the role and veracity of the Removal Pass has been deemed appropriate to be used to certify forest areas and timber companies under the FSC scheme in Malaysia.

It is also interesting to note that for FSC-certified timber companies that use imported FSC-certified raw materials, we do not hear of Greenpeace insisting that the link between the overseas suppliers and the companies concerned must be audited.

Extending the Chain-of-Custody to the Market

On 3 December 2004, MTCC had circulated a notification on the use of its revised chain-of-custody standard, the Requirements for Chain-of-Custody (RCOC) in which new applicants would be required to comply with the RCOC with effect from 1 March 2005 while for current certificate holders, the deadline is 1 January 2006. Under the RCOC, the chain-of-custody is extended to cover the timber markets. It was envisaged that applications for chain-of-custody certification would be received from overseas-based companies and their application would be assessed by MTCC-registered assessors. However, since the MTCC scheme is voluntary in nature, it is difficult for MTCC to compel especially overseas-based companies to participate in our scheme. It is hoped that the Greenpeace report would help to encourage the overseas-based companies concerned to apply for the MTCC Certificate for Chain-of-Custody.

Victory Enterprise Sdn Bhd. (VESB)

VESB is a company awarded the MTCC Certificate for Chain-of-Custody for finger-jointed laminated core lumber, sawn timber, moulding and S4S (solid wood). In line with its practice, MTCC is in the process of arranging for a surveillance visit to be conducted on VESB and will take appropriate measures based on the results of the surveillance visit.

With regard to the allegation of import of timber from Indonesia by VESB as contained in the Greenpeace report, MTCC has referred this matter to the appropriate authority, i.e. the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) for MTIB’s further action.

Asia Plywood Company Sdn. Bhd. – Certificate for Chain-of-Custody No.63

Following the follow-up visit by the independent assessor, SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd., on 14 September 2005 to verify the corrective actions taken by Asia Plywood Company Sdn. Bhd. (APC) to comply with the Requirements and Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RAP/COC), this is to inform that the assessor was satisfied that APC had taken the appropriate corrective actions and therefore has closed out the major Corrective Action Requests (CARs) raised during the surveillance visit on 11-12 August 2005.

Based on its evaluation of the assessor’s report, MTCC has decided that the directive issued to APC on 29 July 2005 to cease describing its plywood as ‘MTCC-certified plywood’ be hereby lifted, and that APC can resume describing its plywood as ‘MTCCcertified’ with effect from 9 November 2005.

All relevant parties are kindly requested to take note of the above.

MTIB-MTCC’s response to Greenpeace International’s report ”Missing Links”

Following the report entitled ‘Missing Links’ by Greenpeace International, a team from the Enforcement Unit of the Malaysian Timber Industry Board (MTIB) conducted investigations on 3 and 6 June 2005, as well as on 19 and 25 July 2005, on the allegation of import of Indonesian timber at Sritama Jetty and the delivery of this imported timber to Victory Enterprise Sdn. Bhd. (VESB).

Sritama Jetty

The investigation team visited Sritama Jetty on 6 June and 19 July 2005, during which interviews were held with Sritama Industries (M) Sdn. Bhd. (Sritama), which manages Sritama Jetty, as well as with contract workers at Sritama Jetty. The team also met the Royal Customs Department as well as traders and importers in Port Klang.

The key findings of the investigations on Sritama are as follows:

1) There was no importation of timber at Sritama Jetty on 6, 7 and 10 December 2004, the dates mentioned in the Greenpeace report;

2) Sritama has not handled any imported timber since July 2004. The last consignment of timber which was handled by Sritama Jetty was in June 2004, comprising a consignment of Large Scantlings and Squares (sawn timber of cross sectional area exceeding 60 square inches) which was subsequently found to be illegally imported and was confiscated by the Royal Customs Department, following an investigation by MTIB. The timber was auctioned in January 2005;

3) From 1 to 31 December 2004, no vessels bearing the names KM Samudra or KM Kurniaw called at Sritama Jetty;

4) Records at the Royal Customs Department also confirmed that there was no import of timber at Sritama Jetty for the period from 1 to 20 December 2004;

5) The traders and importers in Port Klang interviewed by MTIB also confirmed that there was no import of timber at Sritama Jetty from July 2004 until June 2005; and
Examination on the photograph of timber described in the report as ‘Unmarked timber
flitches at the Sritama Jetty No. 2’ has shown similarity with the Large Scantlings and
Squares confiscated by the Royal Customs Department in June 2004.

VESB

The investigation team visited VESB on 3 June 2005 and made another visit on 25 July 2005.

The key findings of the investigations on VESB are as follows:

1) Prior to 12 December 2004, VESB did not export any MTCC-certified products. From 12 December 2004 to 3 June 2005, VESB exported a total of 393 m3 of MTCC-certified sawn timber;

2) Neither VESB nor Minho Berhad, the parent company of VESB, has a business
relationship with Sritama;

3) VESB confirmed that it had purchased about 566 m3 of sawn timber from a local trader in October 2004. The sawn timber measures 4” to 6” by 7” to 10” by 12’ and was used for making stackers and pallets. Further enquiry with the local trader indicated that the sawn
timber may have been from Indonesia;

4) An inspection conducted on this sawn timber on 25 July 2005 found that it comprised the following species: Nyatoh (40%), Durian (29%), Kedondong (9%), Red Meranti (6%),
Balau (6%), Bintangor (3%) and others (Mempisang, Kekatong, Yellow Meranti, Kempas, Keruing, Simpoh, Terap, Pulai and Mata Ulat); and

5) The quality of this sawn timber is very low and they contain defects such as surface checks, splits, bowing, boxed-heart, stain and fungi.

B. Results of Surveillance Visit on VESB

In its earlier Press Release dated 20 May 2005 regarding the above matter, the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) informed that it would arrange for a surveillance visit to be conducted on VESB in which the independent assessor would also take into account the contents of the Greenpeace report related to VESB.The surveillance visit on VESB was conducted by two auditors from the independent assessor, Global Forestry Services (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. [GFS], on 8 June 2005.

The key findings of the surveillance visit on VESB are as follows:

1) The surveillance visit showed that VESB has adequately implemented and maintained the system for purchasing, receiving, processing of MTCC-certified raw materials and the selling of MTCC-certified products as per the Requirements and Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RAP/COC) under the MTCC scheme. Hence GFS has recommended that the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody issued to VESB should be maintained;

2) The investigations showed that from 21 October 2004 until 8 June 2005, VESB exported about 592 m3 of MTCC-certified sawn timber which can be accounted for by purchases which VESB made from three MTCC-certified sawmills and the existing stocks found in the premises of VESB. The certified sawn timber purchased and exported was of Dark Red Meranti species [Seraya, Nemesu and Dark Uniform Colour (DUC)]; and

3) As stated in the above-mentioned MTIB report, VESB did purchase some sawn timber from local trader in October 2004 comprising species such as Nyatoh, Durian, Kedondong, Red Meranti, Balau, Bintangor and others (Mempisang, Kekatong, Yellow Meranti, Kempas, Keruing, Simpoh, Terap, Pulai and Mata Ulat). It should be noted that only 6% of the sawn timber is of Red Meranti species and the quality of these timbers was not similar to the MTCC-certified timber sold by VESB. In addition, they were of different lengths and cross-sectional areas and were purchased by VESB to make stackers and pallets.To address the concerns raised by Greenpeace International, GFS in its surveillance visit to VESB has checked the relevant records and procedures for receipt, kiln-drying and re-bundling, as well as the quality of the timber sold, and concluded that there was no possibility for the sawn timber to be mixed with the MTCC-certified timber sold by VESB.

Asia Plywood Company Sdn. Bhd.- Certificate for Chain-of-Custody No.63

(1) Following MTCC’s earlier Press Release dated 3 August 2005 on the above matter, this is to inform that a surveillance visit on Asia Plywood Company Sdn. Bhd. (APC) was conducted by two auditors from the independent assessor, SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. (SIRIM QAS) on 11 and 12 August 2005.

(2) The interim report of the surveillance visit has confirmed that APC has not complied
with some of the requirements stipulated in the Requirements and Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RAP/COC) with regard to the recording and monitoring of the input of MTCC-certified logs, and the production and exports of plywood which were described as “MTCC-certified” for the period from May 2005 to 29 July 2005. Nevertheless the visit also confirms that APC uses logs which are legally sourced from MTCC-certified forests (i.e. Permanent Reserved Forests which are sustainably managed) as well as legally sourced from non MTCC certified forests (i.e. State Land and Alienated Land which are forested areas  armarked for development purposes and are therefore not sustainably managed).

(3) APC is taking immediate corrective actions to comply with the requirements of the RAP/COC and these actions will be verified by SIRIM QAS during a follow-up visit. MTCC will take appropriate measures based on the surveillance report to be submitted by SIRIM QAS.

(4) All relevant parties are kindly requested to take note of the above.

Asia Plywood Company Sdn. Bhd.- Certificate for Chain-of-Custody No.63

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) wishes to announce that Asia
Plywood Company Sdn. Bhd., holder of Certificate for Chain-of-Custody No. 063, has
been directed to cease describing its plywood as “MTCC-certified” with effect from 29
July 2005, until further notice.

MTCC has taken this decision following a visit to the premises of the company to check
on its records, particularly its inputs of MTCC-certified logs, and its production and exports of plywood which were described as “MTCC-certified”.

As a follow-up action, MTCC has arranged with an independent assessor to immediately conduct a surveillance visit on Asia Plywood Company Sdn. Bhd. Based the outcome of this surveillance visit, appropriate measures will be taken by MTCC.

All relevant parties are kindly requested to take note of the above.

·

Samling Response to NGOs – Finalised

Samling regrets the recent reports by certain NGOs concerning SFM and forest certification in the Sela’an-Linau forest management unit.

We offer the following facts as clarifications:

–         A 2001 satellite imagery was used to show more intensely logged areas and to falsely relate this to the certified FMU.

We would like to clarify that the area shown as ‘unsustainable’ is NOT encompassing any part of the certified FMU. The satellite imagery provided by the NGOs was dated 2001 which was well before the forest certification which was completed in 2004.  We attach herewith two satellite images dated 2001 and 2003 respectively showing the delineated boundaries of the certified Sela’an-Linau FMU.  The two images also show distinctly the differences between forests which are managed under SFM and those which are not.

–         The responsibility for regulations and verifications of land claims rest within the jurisdiction of the state government authorities and not with Samling. The self-proclaimed land claim by the Penan did not consider and respect that there are other communities of different ethnic groups like the Kelabit and Kenyah living within the forest area.

–         Forest management in Sarawak respects and comply with all applicable laws of Sarawak and Malaysia.

Samling had zoned out all known shifting agriculture areas from its operations and we fully respect all properly authorized land claims. We hold periodical liaison committee meetings where representatives of community and government agencies are present to address issues including land matters which are of interest to the various parties.

Inhabitants of the various communities are not prevented to access any part of the forest in the FMU for their gathering of non-timber produce such as sago, rattan, and wild fruits and hunting of wild animals. Under our SFM practices, we incorporated protection measures for fruit trees and plants for the benefit of the communities. Biodiversity conservation is under research in our cooperation agreement with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) of New York. Any wildlife hunting is restricted to the forest dwelling communities. We also attach some digital pictures of animals that were captured through camera trappings conducted by WCS.

–         It must be mentioned that majority of the communities who actively participate in our socio-economic development programs including the Penan ethnic group support our SFM practices. They recognize that SFM actually minimize adverse impacts on the forest thus preserving their livelihoods. Amongst the implementation of numerous community development projects, we are pleased to announce that a coffee project was launched by the Telang Usan Assemblyman, Mr. Lihan Jok in July 2005 as one of the economic alternatives for agro-based development by the indigenous communities living in and around the certified FMU.  This initiative is a joint effort by the Agriculture Department, Sarawak Forestry, Samling and Sarawak Timber Association to help the various indigenous communities in Ulu Baram.

We strongly feel that NGOs should act responsibly and to contribute positively to assist and encourage SFM practices in Sarawak. Only when SFM is more widely practiced by the timber industry then better improvements all around including more sustained development projects can be introduced and implemented. Disruptive measures by some NGOs add to confusion and deprive some ethnic groups the opportunity to progress.

Attached Files

à    Satellite Imagery 2001 showing the designated Sela’an-Linau FMU which      was certified.

à    Satellite Imagery showing the same area on 27 January 2003.

à    Photo showing potential crop trees and fruit trees being tagged for protection during pre-harvesting.

à    Photo showing camera trapping in research for biodiversity conservation. Presence of animals are evident even in harvested areas.

 

 

 

 

Information Update – Sela’an Linau FMU

The Sela’an-Linau Forest Management Unit (FMU) is the first FMU in Sarawak to be awarded the Certificate for Forest Management under the MTCC timber certification scheme.  The Certificate is awarded to Samling Plywood (Baramas) Sdn. Bhd., the company which manages the Sela’an-Linau FMU.

MTCC received a letter dated 25 January 2005 from Mr. Bilong Oyau, the Headman of Long Sait. This letter, which also bears the signatures of Headmen and Assistant Headmen from 11 other communities, alleges that their communities were not consulted with regard to the certification of Sela’an-Linau FMU and therefore urged MTCC to revoke the Certificate granted to Samling. The letter also informed that the communities concerned had filed legal action against Samling which is still pending at the High Court.

In line with the procedures under the MTCC scheme, MTCC has replied to Mr. Bilong Oyau, that the complaint will be investigated and followed up during the first surveillance visit on Sela’an-Linau FMU scheduled for this year.  MTCC also provided a map of the actual forest area that was certified.  At the same time, MTCC has requested more information from Mr. Bilong Oyau regarding the High Court case.

MTCC has also sent a copy of the letter from Mr. Bilong Oyau to SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. (the independent assessor) to examine the issues raised during the surveillance visit.

Information Update: Implementation of The MTCC Certification Scheme

MTCC has been operating its timber certification scheme since October 2001 using the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2001)] as its forest management standard and the Requirements and Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RAP/COC) for chain-of-custody certification.

In 2005, MTCC will be focusing its efforts on ensuring a smooth transition to the use of the new standards in its scheme, i.e. the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management or MC&I(2002) for forest management certification and the Requirements for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RCOC) for chain-of-custody certification. A series of training courses are scheduled to be conducted by MTCC from February to April 2005 to familiarise the assessors as well as the assessed parties with the requirements of the new standards.

Compared to the MC&I(2001), the new standard [MC&I(2002)] has additional elements on the social aspects of forest management. MTCC therefore regrets that the members of JOANGOHutan have circulated a leaflet in February 2005 which contains inaccurate and misleading information.

 

MTCC wishes to reiterate the following:

  • MTCC is now implementing timber certification using a standard that is based on the ITTO criteria and indicators and contains the key elements for sustainable forest management covering economic, environmental and social aspects;
  • The scheme uses independent third-party assessors to carry out the assessments;
  • As a matter of routine, feedback on MTCC-certified FMUs or companies will be investigated and followed up during the next surveillance visit;
  • Tropical forests are highly complex and its certification is costly as well as difficult. The phased approach adopted by MTCC is now widely recognised as the only pragmatic way of implementing timber certification in tropical developing countries;
  • Standard-setting is undertaken by multi-stakeholder regional and national-level consultations. MTCC does not set the standards for certification;
  • The vast majority of environmental, social and economic stakeholders participated in the standard-setting processes that have taken place in connection with timber certification; and
  • In pursuing sustainable forest management practices in Malaysia, the MTCC certification scheme is already making a positive contribution.

Sela’an Linau FMU first to be MTCC-certified in Sarawak

The Sela’an Linau Forest Management Unit (FMU) has become the first FMU in Sarawak, and the ninth in Malaysia, to be certified under the MTCC timber certification scheme. It is also the first FMU which is managed by a private company. The certification of the Sela’an Linau FMU therefore represents another important milestone for the MTCC certification scheme.

The MTCC Certificate for Forest Management was awarded to Samling Plywood (Baramas) Sdn. Bhd., the company that manages the Sela’an Linau FMU, at a presentation ceremony
that was officiated by the Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Y.B. Datuk Peter Chin Fah Kui, on 4 January 2005 in Miri. The company was also presented with the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody during the same ceremony.

With the issuance of the MTCC certificate to the Sela’an Linau FMU, the Samling group is now in a position to supply MTCC-certified products through Samling Plywood (Baramas) Sdn. Bhd. and Samling DorFoHom Sdn. Bhd. which have been awarded the MTCC Certificate for Chain-of-Custody for plywood and moulded door skins respectively.

The Sela’an Linau FMU is located in the Upper Ulu Baram region, and covers an area of 55,949 hectares, comprising about 72% Mixed Hill Dipterocarp Forest, with the remaining area consisting of Kerangas Forest and Montane Forest. It first underwent a pre-assessment in September 2003 to determine whether it was ready for the main assessment against the standard currently used under the MTCC scheme, i.e. the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, 2 Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2001)].

The main assessment of the Sela’an Linau FMU was conducted in March 2004 by an independent assessor registered with MTCC, SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd. The assessment resulted in the issuance of two major Corrective Action Requests (CARs), which referred to infringement of the buffer belt along permanent waterway and non-compliance to specifications in the construction of skid trails. The assessment to verify the corrective action taken to address the major CARs was carried out in August 2004, and based on the assessor’s recommendations, the decision to award the Certificate was made in October 2004.

MTCC started operating its certification scheme in October 2001. Besides the Sela’an Linau FMU, eight FMUs in Peninsular Malaysia, i.e. Pahang, Selangor, Terengganu, Johor, Kedah, Perak, Negeri Sembilan and Kelantan, covering a total of 4.67 million hectares of Permanent Reserved Forests (PRFs) have been certified under the MTCC scheme. A total of 55 timber companies have been awarded the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody.

The Certificate for Forest Management provides the assurance that the FMU has complied with the requirements of the MC&I(2001) and that the timber is harvested legally, while the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody provides the assurance to buyers of MTCC-certified timber products that the raw material used in the products originate from MTCC-certified FMUs.

MTCC-certified timber has been exported since July 2002. By the end of November 2004, a total of 31,852 m3 of MTCC-certified timber has been exported to The Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and Australia.

The Danish Ministry of the Environment has given recognition to the MTCC scheme by
including it as one of the accepted certification schemes in its document entitled Purchasing Tropical Timber – Environmental Guidelines, describing the MTCC certificate as providing a good guarantee of legal forest management, on its way towards becoming sustainable. The report commissioned by the United Kingdom’s Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) has also concluded that the certificate issued by MTCC provides the assurance of legally harvested timber.

Assesment of MTCC Scheme by UK Goverment

MTCC has taken note of the News Release dated 9 November 2004 issued by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) concerning the announcement by the Environment Minister Elliot Morley of a report on the assessment of five forest certification schemes, including the MTCC scheme, as part of the UK Government’s efforts to buy legally harvested timber from sustainably managed forests.

The report commissioned by the UK Central Point of Expertise on Timber (CPET) concluded that the certificate issued by MTCC should be accepted as an assurance of legally harvested timber.  However, in the view of the CPET, the MTCC in its current form is not completely acceptable as an assurance of sustainable timber as defined in the UK Government’s model contract specification.

As the only timber certification scheme from a developing and tropical timber producing country that was assessed by the CPET, MTCC welcomes the conclusion of the report that its scheme provides the assurance of legally harvested timber.  MTCC is however disappointed that its scheme is considered as not providing adequate assurance towards fulfilling the UK government’s requirements for sustainable timber at this juncture, due mainly to the perception by the CPET that there is inadequate involvement of all the relevant stakeholders in the standard setting process.

MTCC disagrees that there was inadequate involvement of all the relevant stakeholders, since the multi-stakeholder consultations coordinated by MTCC to develop the forest management standards have been open, transparent and participatory processes in which all the relevant stakeholders in Malaysia were invited.  These regional and national-level consultations involved representatives of all the stakeholder groups.

The MTCC scheme is being implemented using a phased approach which involves the use of different forest management standards in the two phases.

The standard currently used is the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2001)], which is based on the 1998 International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests.  The MC&I(2001) contains the key elements for sustainable forest management covering economic, social and environmental aspects such as the enabling conditions for sustainable forest management, forest resource security, flow of forest produce, biological diversity, soil and water, and economic, social and cultural aspects.

For the next phase of its scheme beginning 2005, MTCC will use a new standard, the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)], which has been developed using the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the framework.  The Verifiers contained in the MC&I(2002) reflect the requirements necessary to address the social, environmental and economic dimensions pertaining to sustainable forest management.

MTCC will work closely with DEFRA and the CPET during the six-month period to seek further clarification and provide additional information on specific issues as well as make further progress in implementing its phased approach.  MTCC is optimistic that through such means, its scheme will be accepted as providing an assurance of both legal and sustainable timber by the UK government.

National Consultation on the Review of RAP/COC held in Kuala Lumpur

The current standard for chain-of-custody certification used by the MTCC timber certification scheme since it started its operation in December 2001, the Requirements and Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification or RAP/COC document (dated 3 November 2000), was recently revised.

Thenew document, referred to as the Requirements for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RCOC), will be the standard used for chain-of-custody certification of wood processing or trading companies under the MTCC scheme beginning January 2006.  However, it is envisaged that assessments using the RCOC can be carried out on a voluntary basis, after April 2005.

The periodic review and updating of the chain-of-custody standard is to take into account the latest international developments as well as to incorporate best practices in chain-of-custody certification which are appropriate to local conditions in Malaysia.

The review process was initiated by MTCC in February 2004 through a letter which was sent to all the relevant stakeholder groups, informing them of the proposed review and inviting them to submit their comments and proposals for amendments to the RAP/COC document.

For the review, MTCC had proposed that the RAP/COC document be re-issued as two separate documents, i.e. the new RCOC which will set out the requirements for chain-of-custody certification, and the Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification which will deal with the general procedures for assessors to follow in conducting assessments for chain-of-custody certification.

The draft RCOC incorporating proposed amendments received from the stakeholders was finalized and adopted at the two-day national consultation held on 25-26 August 2004 in Kuala Lumpur, which was attended by 66 participants representing the various stakeholder groups in Malaysia.

Field-Test of MC&I (2002)

The MC&I(2002) was finalised and adopted as the standard for forest management certification at the National-Level Consultation held on 28-30 October 2002 in Kuala Lumpur which was attended by 113 participants representing all stakeholder groups. The National-Level Consultation agreed that the MC&I(2002) be field-tested in the three regions of Malaysia. The decision to field-test the MC&I(2002) in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia was also endorsed by the Sixth NSC meeting held on 12 June 2003 so as to assess its practical application in assessing FMUs for the purpose of timber certification.

Subsequently, the field tests of the MC&I(2002) were conducted in the three regions of Malaysia as follows:

 

Region Site of Field-Test Date Assessor Company 
Sabah Deramakot Forest Reserve 9-13 February SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.
Peninsular Malaysia Perak FMU 1-6 March SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd.
Sarawak Timber Licence Area T/3236, Ulu Balui, Kapit 7-12 May Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM)

 

Besides the auditors from assessor companies, stakeholder representatives from the three regions also participated in the field tests and provided valuable inputs.  The field tests in the three regions were assisted by resource persons from the respective forestry departments/agencies who provided the necessary field information and logistic support.

Filed Test in Sarawak

The Seventh NSC meeting held on 10-11 August 2004 considered the recommendations of the three field tests and agreed to adopt the finalised MC&I(2002) as the standard for forest management certification in Malaysia.

 

Regional Field Testing Of MC&I (2002) Completed, 1 June 2004

The MC&I(2002), which was finalized and adopted by consensus at the multi-stakeholder National-level Consultation held on 28-30 October 2002, has now been field tested in the three regions of Malaysia, i.e. Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. MTCC will be using this standard for the next phase of its timber certification scheme beginning 2005.

The decision to field-test the MC&I(2002), which is based on the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), was made at the National-level Consultation. This decision was subsequently endorsed by the National Steering Committee (NSC) at its 6th Meeting. The field-tests involved a thorough evaluation of the MC&I(2002) to assess its practical application in assessing Forest Management Units (FMUs) for the purpose of timber certification.

The field-test for Sabah was conducted in the Deramakot Forest Reserve from 9-13 February 2004 by an independent assessment team comprising three auditors from SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., one of the assessor companies registered with MTCC. In addition, in line with the decision to invite the environmental, social and economic stakeholder groups and direct resource managers from the respective regions to participate and provide the necessary inputs to assist in the field-test, representatives from the following organisations, who were nominated by the appointed coordinators after due consultations within the respective stakeholder groups, also participated in the field-test:-

(i) Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Sabah Branch
(ii) WWF Malaysia Borneo Programme
(iii) Sabah Timber Industries Employees Union (STIEU)
(iv) Sabah Murut Association (Persatuan Murut Sabah-PMS)
(v) Sabah Foundation (Yayasan Sabah)
(vi) Environmental Protection Department
(vii) Drainage and Irrigation Department

The field-test for Peninsular Malaysia was conducted in the Perak Forest Management Unit (FMU) from 1-6 March 2004 by an independent assessment team comprising three auditors from SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd., which is also registered with MTCC. Similarly, representatives from the following organisations, who were nominated by the appointed coordinators, participated in the field-test:-

(i) WWF Malaysia
(ii) Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)
(iii) Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
(iv) Aborigines Affairs Department (JHEOA)
(v) West Malaysia Malay Forest Officers Union
(vi) Malaysian Wood Industries Association (MWIA)
(vii) Perak Timber Trade Association (PTTA)
(viii) Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan)
(ix) Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia

The field test for Sarawak was conducted in Ulu Baleh, Kapit on 7 – 12 May 2004 by an independent assessment team comprising four auditors from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), with two of them being local auditors who are well versed with social issues related to forest management in Sarawak. Similarly, representatives from the following organisations, who were nominated by appointed coordinators, participated in the field test :-

(i) Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)
(ii) Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB)
(iii) Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (SFC)
(iv) Sarawak Timber Association (STA)
(v) Shin Yang Forestry Sdn. Bhd.

The independent assessment teams, through consultations and inputs from the stakeholder representatives who participated in the field-tests, have made various recommendations which include: –

(i) Verifiers that are suitable with no amendment needed;
(ii) Verifiers that are not suitable and proposed to be excluded;
(iii) Verifiers to be amended; and
(iv) new Verifiers to be included.

MTCC, as the NSC Secretariat, will collate the outcomes of the three field tests for presentation, consideration and decision of the Seventh Meeting of the NSC which has been scheduled to be held on 10 – 11 August 2004.

 

Notification On Use Of MC&I By MTCC Scheme, 1 April 2004

The MTCC timber certification scheme, which began operation in October 2001, is being implemented using a phased approach. The certification standard currently used for assessing Forest Management Units (FMUs) is the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification dated 4 October 2001 [MC&I(2001)], which is based on the ITTO Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests.

In line with the phased approach, MTCC had announced, through its Press Release dated 26 August 2003, its intention to use the new standard entitled Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification and dated 30 October 2002 [MC&I(2002)], which is based on the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). The MC&I(2002) was finalised and adopted by consensus at the National-level Consultation held on 28-30 October 2002 in Kuala Lumpur. The MC&I(2002) is currently being field-tested, following which it will be refined to take into account the results of the field tests.

A target date of 1 January 2005 has been set to start using the MC&I(2002) to assess all FMUs for the purpose of forest management certification under the MTCC scheme.

In order to ensure a smooth transition to the use of the MC&I(2002), MTCC has decided on the following deadlines and arrangements which need to be complied with by parties already certified by MTCC as well as new applicants for certification:

Forest Management Certification

  1. New Applicants
    (i) All new applications by FMUs for forest management certification against the MC&I(2001) must be received by MTCC at the latest by 30 September 2004.
    (ii) The Certificate for Forest Management awarded to applicants who submitted their applications to MTCC before 30 September 2004 and have been found to comply with the MC&I(2001) shall be valid until 31 December 2005.
    (iii) With effect from 1 January 2005, the assessment for all new applications by FMUs for forest management certification will be conducted against the MC&I(2002).
    (iv) The Certificate for Forest Management awarded to applicants who have been found to comply with the MC&I(2002) shall be valid for a period of five years.
  2. Holders of Certificate for Forest Management
    (i) FMUs holding the Certificate for Forest Management which is valid until 31 December 2005 will be allowed to undergo surveillance visits against the MC&I(2001) in 2005. However, no surveillance visits against the MC&I(2001) will be allowed after 31 December 2005.
    (ii) Beginning 1 January 2006, FMUs previously holding the Certificate for Forest Management will have to undergo assessment against the MC&I(2002).
    (iii) During 2005, Certificate holders undergoing surveillance assessment against the MC&I(2001) will also have to undergo assessment against the MC&I(2002) at the same time.
    (iv) A new Certificate for Forest Management will be awarded to FMUs who have been found to comply with the MC&I(2002) and the Certificate shall be valid for a period of five years. The earlier Certificate will simultaneously be withdrawn.

Chain-of-Custody Certification

  1. New Applicants and Holders of Certificate for Chain-of-Custody
    (i) Procedures for application for the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody and for surveillance visits of certified companies, as well as the validity period of the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody, will not be affected by the change to the use of the MC&I(2002).

In view of MTCC’s decision to use the MC&I(2002) beginning January 2005, all current Certificates for Forest Management based on the MC&I(2001) shall be valid until 31 December 2005. This is to allow a one year transition period (2005) during which the existing certified FMUs will be in possession of the certificate while they undergo assessment to the MC&I(2002).

All managers of FMUs therefore should be fully aware of the above-mentioned deadlines and arrangements. They are also advised to familiarise themselves with the requirements of the MC&I(2002) in order to prepare themselves for these changes. The MC&I(2002) can be obtained from the MTCC office or downloadedfrom this web site.

Please contact the MTCC office at 03-92005008 or e-mail to mtcc@tm.net.my should you have any enquiry on this matter.

Click HERE for a Diagrammatic Presentation of the Deadlines and Arrangements for Use of MC&I(2002) by the MTCC Timber Certification Scheme

MTCC Invites Proposals For Its Review On Requirements And Assessment Procedures For Chain-Of-Custody Certification (RAP/COC)

The document entitled Requirements and Assessment Procedures for Chain-of-Custody Certification (RAP/COC)and dated 3 November 2000 is the key document related to chain-of-custody (CoC) certification. The RAP/COC can be downloaded from MTCC’s website (see under the heading Documents).

The RAP/COC sets out the requirements and assessment procedures for CoC certification and has been used as the basis for assessments for CoC certification under the MTCC timber certification scheme. It also provides the necessary information to companies interested in obtaining CoC certification from MTCC as well as auditors in carrying out CoC assessments.

The RAP/COC is the output of consultations and discussions carried out in 2000, as well as a project funded by the German Agency for Technical Coorperation (GTZ) which was completed in 2001. MTCC is of the view that the RAP/COC should be reviewed at this juncture to take into account the latest international developments and to incorporate best practices in CoC certification which are appropriate to local conditions in Malaysia.

Since November 2002, MTCC has become a member of the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) Council, formerly known as the Pan European Forest Certification Council. MTCC is now making preparations to submit its scheme for the endorsement of the PEFC Council. In line with the requirements of the PEFC Council, the revision of the RAP/COC has to be through a forum involving all relevant stakeholder groups whose views shall be documented and considered in an open and transparent way. In this connection, MTCC is planning to organise such a forum in the form of a national consultation in July 2004 to consider and decide on proposals to review the RAP/COC.

As preparation for the proposed national consultation, MTCC cordially invites your organisation to submit proposals for the review of the RAP/COC. In this process, your organisation may wish to discuss with other organisations in your respective stakeholder groups in order to coordinate the proposals on the RAP/COC.

All proposals should be forwarded to MTCC on or before 30 April 2004 to enable MTCC to collate and compile the proposals. The draft document incorporating the proposed amendments will then be circulated to all stakeholder groups prior to the national consultation. Proposals can be sent by post, fax (No. 03-9200 6008) or e-mail (mtcc@tm.net.my) for the attention of Mr. Ismail Ibrahim. Please contact MTCC if further clarification is needed.

 

MTCC’S Response To Greenpeace International’s Leaflet Dated January 2004

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) notes with regret that Greenpeace International has chosen the occasion of the 7th Meeting of the Conference of Parties on Biological Diversity (COP7) to continue its attempts to dismiss the serious and substantive efforts of the stakeholder groups involved in the various consultations related to the implementation of timber certification in Malaysia, by denouncing the MTCC as “sustainable certification imposters”.

MTCC, as the organisation which has coordinated and served as the secretariat for the consultations, wishes to provide the following information and clarification in response to Greenpeace International’s leaflet:

 

Standard Setting Process

Since MTCC started its operation in 1999, it has facilitated and coordinated two nation-wide consultations, which served as the standard-setting processes for the purpose of developing forest management standards to be used in its certification scheme.  The first consultation in 1999 used the Criteria and Indicators of the International Tropical Timber Organization (ITTO) as the framework for the forest management standard, while the second consultation in 2002 used the Principles and Criteria (P&C) of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the framework.

The first national-level consultation held in October 1999 was attended by a total of 111 participants from 58 organisations representing the various stakeholder groups.  The social and environmental NGOs cited by Greenpeace International participated in this consultation where they indicated that while in principle they fully support the concept and implementation of certification, they nevertheless raised some issues and concerns related to certification.  The stakeholder representatives present agreed that some of these issues were related to the prevailing state laws and therefore were beyond MTCC’s area of responsibility.

The second consultation process took place under the multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee (NSC) which was formed in early 2001 following an FSC-MTCC workshop of forest certification in December 2000.  However the same group of social and environmental NGOs withdrew from the NSC-led process in July 2001, even before the NSC could start any substantive discussions.  The reason for their withdrawal was that they were not satisfied with MTCC’s response to certain “demands” they had made, despite MTCC’s explanation that it was not in a position to satisfy these “demands” because (i) some of these “demands” required amendments to the state laws; and (ii) while the other “demands” could be included in the certification standard, nevertheless the extent and manner of their inclusion should be the subject of discussions and negotiations with the other stakeholder representatives as part of the NSC process.

The consultations under the NSC process culminated in the national-level meeting in October 2002 which was attended by 113 participants representing 71 organisations (including 22 environmental and social NGOs).  MTCC wishes to stress that despite their withdrawal from the NSC process, the door was kept open to these NGOs, who were kept informed of the progress of the NSC’s work and were also invited to the regional as well as national-level consultations.

 

Forest Management Standard

As a result of the standard-setting processes outlined above, two forest management standards have been developed and adopted by consensus.

The first consultation process resulted in the ITTO-based standard entitled Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification while the P&C-based standard adopted following the second consultation is entitled Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification.

The second standard is currently undergoing field tests in the three regions of Malaysia i.e. Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.  In connection with this standard, it is disconcerting to note that Greenpeace International has criticised the Indicators and Verifiers which have been adopted by the Malaysian stakeholders during the October 2002 consultation.  It is to be noted that the detailed requirements in the forest management standard in any certification scheme are to be determined through consultations by the local stakeholders who are most familiar with the conditions within the region or country concerned.  In criticising the standard, is Greenpeace International trying to usurp the role of the Malaysian stakeholders or trying to impose its views on them?

 

Implementation of MTCC Timber Certification Scheme

The MTCC certification scheme is being implemented using a phased approach.  The standard currently used for assessing Forest Management Units (FMUs) is based on the first standard mentioned above.  However MTCC is using a subset of the Indicators agreed, corresponding to that used in the cooperation programme in timber certification between Malaysia and The Netherlands, in line with the phased approach and in order to ensure a smooth transition to the MTCC scheme.

For the next phase of its scheme, MTCC will use the standard developed during the second consultation, once it has been further refined to take into account the results of the field tests now being undertaken. MTCC has set a target date of January 2005 for the use of the second standard.

MTCC wishes to point out that the use of a phased approach in the implementation of timber certification has been recognised as a practical way to assist forest managers to make progress towards sustainable forest management and its certification, especially for tropical forests.  As Greenpeace International must be aware, the management of tropical forests is much more complex compared to temperate and boreal forests, especially when tropical forest countries are also developing countries.

 

Conclusion

Malaysia has just embarked on its efforts to implement timber certification and welcomes constructive criticism that will contribute towards the further improvement of our timber certification scheme.  The standards and procedures used by MTCC will be subject to continuous improvements, with sufficient time being given to the forest managers and other affected parties to adjust to these changes.

Greenpeace International can play a very constructive role in helping developing tropical forest countries to achieve sustainable management of their precious forest resources for example, by ensuring that the FSC scheme has the flexibility to accommodate local conditions in these countries.  Otherwise the present situation where tropical forests only comprise a small percentage of the total area of certified forests throughout the world, will continue, despite our best efforts.

MTCC wishes to reiterate its commitment to continue working closely with all stakeholder groups in Malaysia in the implementation and continuous improvement of its certification scheme, in order to achieve our common objective of ensuring the sustainable management of the forest resources in Malaysia.  MTCC therefore welcomes any contribution that Greenpeace International can make towards these efforts and objectives.

 

Danish Government Accepts MTCC Scheme

In a recent move, the Danish Ministry of the Environment has included the MTCC timber certification scheme as one of the accepted schemes in its Environmental Guidelines for Purchasing Tropical Timber.

The Guidelines have been published by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency and the DanishForest and Nature Agency, and is the result of deliberation of a steering group comprising the Danish Government, NGOs, trade and industry. The aim of the Guidelines is to make it easier for public and semi-public organisations to ensure that the tropical timber they purchase is produced in a sustainable and legal manner. These Guidelines will also be of use to private institutions and individuals.

In the Guidelines, it is mentioned that, besides the FSC scheme, there are national schemes that have been established, one of them being the MTCC scheme in Malaysia under which there are 2.3 million hectares of MTCC certified forest, divided between three certificates, all in natural forest (Note: By the end of October 2003, MTCC Certificates had been issued to seven State Forest Management Units (FMUs) which account for a total area of 4.11 million hectares).

Under the section on “Requirements and documentation” of the Guidelines, it is stated that

“MTCC is regarded as providing an adequate guarantee for legal forest management, on their way towards sustainability, whilst marketing of MTCC certified wood in Denmark will require the attachment of a CoC certificate from Malaysia”.

The English translation of the Guidelines can be downloaded from www.skovognatur.dk.

More Forest Areas And Timber Companies Certified

Another four State forest management units (FMUs), namely Johor, Kedah, Perak and Negeri Sembilan, were recently awarded the Certificate for Forest Management by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) under its timber certification scheme.  The Certificate provides the assurance of legal and sustainable source.

Since the operation of the MTCC scheme in October 2001 using a phased approach, all the eight timber producing States in Peninsular Malaysia, with a total of 4.74 million hectares of permanent reserved forest, have been assessed against the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification (MC&I), which is based on the ITTO Criteria and Indicators.

In December 2001, MTCC awarded the Certificate for Forest Management to Pahang, Selangor and Terengganu, based on field assessments and recommendations made by the independent assessor, SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd.  However, due to some non-compliances observed during the reassessment carried out in March last year, the Certificate for Terengganu was suspended with effect from November 2002.  The suspension on Terengganu has now been lifted following verification of the corrective actions taken to address the non-compliances.

Johor, Kedah, Perak and Negeri Sembilan were assessed for the first time in 2001.  Since non-compliances were issued to all the States, reassessments were carried out early this year.  The four States have now been awarded the Certificate for Forest Management.  Kelantan, which was first assessed in September last year, is presently being reassessed to verify the corrective actions taken to address the non-compliances.  With seven States having been awarded the Certificate for Forest Management, a total of 4.11 million hectares of the permanent reserved forest in Peninsular Malaysia is now certified under the MTCC scheme.

The number of timber companies awarded the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody has also been increasing steadily.  The Certificate allows the companies to export MTCC-certified timber products using the MTCC logo.  Recently, another nine companies were awarded the Certificate for Chain-of-Custody, bringing the total number of certified companies to 38.  Many more companies have applied to MTCC to be assessed for chain-of-custody certification.  By the end of September 2003, a total of 3,882 m3 of MTCC-certified sawn timber has been exported to The Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, the United Kingdom and France.  More information on the certified forest areas and companies can be obtained from the MTCC’s website at http://www.mtcc.com.my

MTCC To use New FSC-Compatible MC&I by January 2005, 26 August

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) Board of Trustees at its 19th meeting held on 31 July 2003 decided to use the new standard (MC&I), that has been developed using the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the template, for the next phase of the MTCC certification scheme beginning January 2005.

The MTCC timber certification scheme which began operation in October 2001 is being implemented using a phased approach. The standard currently used for assessing Forest Management Units (FMUs) for the purpose of certification is the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification (known as the MC&I(2001) in short) which is based on the 1998 ITTO Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests. It contains the key elements for sustainable forest management covering economic, social, environmental and conservational aspects. So far, eight timber producing State FMUs in Peninsular Malaysia have been independently assessed using this standard. In addition, a FMU in Sarawak has undergone a pre-assessment against the requirements of this standard.

As part of the MTCC-FSC cooperation, a multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee (NSC) that was formed in April 2001 has developed the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification[known as the MC&I(2002) in short] using the FSC Principles and Criteria as the template. The development of the MC&I(2002) involved broad-based consultation and consensus between social, environmental and economic stakeholder groups through several meetings of the NSC and regional consultations held in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak where appropriate regional verifiers were identified.

These consultations culminated in the national-level consultation in October 2002 where representatives of all the stakeholder groups from the three regions met to finalise and adopt the MC&I(2002). MTCC facilitated the consultation process by serving as the secretariat for the NSC. The MC&I(2002) will be field-tested in the three regions