Regional Field Testing Of MC&I (2002) Completed, 1 June 2004

The MC&I(2002), which was finalized and adopted by consensus at the multi-stakeholder National-level Consultation held on 28-30 October 2002, has now been field tested in the three regions of Malaysia, i.e. Sabah, Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak. MTCC will be using this standard for the next phase of its timber certification scheme beginning 2005.

The decision to field-test the MC&I(2002), which is based on the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), was made at the National-level Consultation. This decision was subsequently endorsed by the National Steering Committee (NSC) at its 6th Meeting. The field-tests involved a thorough evaluation of the MC&I(2002) to assess its practical application in assessing Forest Management Units (FMUs) for the purpose of timber certification.

The field-test for Sabah was conducted in the Deramakot Forest Reserve from 9-13 February 2004 by an independent assessment team comprising three auditors from SGS (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., one of the assessor companies registered with MTCC. In addition, in line with the decision to invite the environmental, social and economic stakeholder groups and direct resource managers from the respective regions to participate and provide the necessary inputs to assist in the field-test, representatives from the following organisations, who were nominated by the appointed coordinators after due consultations within the respective stakeholder groups, also participated in the field-test:-

(i) Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), Sabah Branch
(ii) WWF Malaysia Borneo Programme
(iii) Sabah Timber Industries Employees Union (STIEU)
(iv) Sabah Murut Association (Persatuan Murut Sabah-PMS)
(v) Sabah Foundation (Yayasan Sabah)
(vi) Environmental Protection Department
(vii) Drainage and Irrigation Department

The field-test for Peninsular Malaysia was conducted in the Perak Forest Management Unit (FMU) from 1-6 March 2004 by an independent assessment team comprising three auditors from SIRIM QAS International Sdn. Bhd., which is also registered with MTCC. Similarly, representatives from the following organisations, who were nominated by the appointed coordinators, participated in the field-test:-

(i) WWF Malaysia
(ii) Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)
(iii) Center for Orang Asli Concerns (COAC)
(iv) Aborigines Affairs Department (JHEOA)
(v) West Malaysia Malay Forest Officers Union
(vi) Malaysian Wood Industries Association (MWIA)
(vii) Perak Timber Trade Association (PTTA)
(viii) Department of Wildlife and National Parks (Perhilitan)
(ix) Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia

The field test for Sarawak was conducted in Ulu Baleh, Kapit on 7 – 12 May 2004 by an independent assessment team comprising four auditors from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia (FRIM), with two of them being local auditors who are well versed with social issues related to forest management in Sarawak. Similarly, representatives from the following organisations, who were nominated by appointed coordinators, participated in the field test :-

(i) Malaysian Nature Society (MNS)
(ii) Natural Resources and Environment Board (NREB)
(iii) Sarawak Forestry Corporation Sdn. Bhd. (SFC)
(iv) Sarawak Timber Association (STA)
(v) Shin Yang Forestry Sdn. Bhd.

The independent assessment teams, through consultations and inputs from the stakeholder representatives who participated in the field-tests, have made various recommendations which include: –

(i) Verifiers that are suitable with no amendment needed;
(ii) Verifiers that are not suitable and proposed to be excluded;
(iii) Verifiers to be amended; and
(iv) new Verifiers to be included.

MTCC, as the NSC Secretariat, will collate the outcomes of the three field tests for presentation, consideration and decision of the Seventh Meeting of the NSC which has been scheduled to be held on 10 – 11 August 2004.