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.
“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.