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.
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
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 while Mr. Yong Teng Koon, CEO of MTCC looks on at the MTCC Appreciation Dinner