Draft MC&I (Forest Plantations) Field Tested

The draft Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification (Forest Plantations) or in short the MC&I(Forest Plantations) was subjected to field testing in the three regions of Malaysia in June-July 2008.

The aim of the field tests is to conduct a thorough evaluation of the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) in respect to practical field auditing for each Indicator and its associated Verifiers, based on consultation, documentation review and site visits in the respective region. In assessing the Indicators and associated Verifiers, recommendations could be made for amendment/exclusion of any Verifiers which are considered to be inappropriate in assessing compliance to the Indicator(s), as well as any new Verifiers to be included.

As agreed by the Fourth Meeting of the Technical Working Group (TWG) for the development of the MC&I(Forest Plantations), a representative each from the four stakeholder groups had been invited to participate as observers in the field test of the draft standard in the respective region.  MTCC, as the Secretariat of the National Steering Committee (NSC), participated in all the three field tests, playing the role of a coordinator and facilitator.

In addition, the field tests also benefited from the participation of representatives from the state forestry agencies of each region, as well as the company which provided the test site, particularly during the discussion sessions with the assessor where useful technical inputs on the draft standard were provided.  The details of the field tests, including the participation of the various stakeholder groups, in the three regions of Malaysia are as shown in Table 1.

Upon receiving the field test reports from the assessor companies, MTCC as the Secretariat of the NSC will compile the outcomes of the various field tests for the consideration and consolidation of the next meeting of the TWG.

The consolidated draft MC&I(Forest Plantations) by the TWG would be presented for the consideration of the next meeting of the NSC scheduled in October 2008 before it is adopted for use under the MTCS. Table 2 provides a summary of the milestones in the development process of the draft MC&I(Forest Plantations).