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.