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