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.