A joint project between MTCC and the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (FHH), Germany or in short the MTCC-Hamburg project which commenced on 1 June 2006 for a two-year period until 31 May 2008 is one of the outcomes of the Malaysian Timber Certification Mission to Europe which took place on 1-10 June 2002. The main objective of the joint project is to provide scientific support to refine the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification [MC&I(2002)], to fulfil the requirements of the FHH for the use of tropical timber, as well as to ensure its practical application in the field.
As part of the mutual agreement between MTCC and FHH under the MTCC-Hamburg project, MTCC will ensure that the FHH will have access to MTCC-certified timber products which comply with the policy of the FHH and in turn, FHH shall recognise the MTCC scheme on a conditional basis for a two-year period beginning 1 June 2006. This means that the FHH will accept on a preliminary basis the MTCC timber certification scheme using the MC&I(2001) and will permit the use of timber products from FMUs certified under this scheme. Full acceptance of the MTCC scheme by the FHH shall be granted when the MC&I(2002) is used fully in the scheme. The FHH will then accept certificates issued by certifiers accredited by MTCC.
Under the MTCC-Hamburg project, a joint project team (JPT) comprising German and Malaysian forest management and certification specialists will be formed and work independently in cooperation with MTCC and other relevant organisations in Malaysia to provide the necessary expertise and technical advice in the implementation of the project.
A junior scientist from the University of Hamburg, Mr. Andreas H. Knoell, has been attached to the MTCC office under this project. Other organisations which will be actively involved with the project are the Forestry Departments in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia, Sarawak Forestry Corporation, and forestry research organizations such as the Forest Research Institute Malaysia. A number of workshops will be held during the two-year period of the MTCC-Hamburg project, in which representatives of the stakeholder groups will be invited to participate.