MTCC Organises Conference to Bridge Present and Future Outlook for Certification Beyond 2030

KUALA LUMPUR, 24 September 2019 – The Malaysian Timber Certification Council(MTCC), an organisation tasked to implement the Malaysian Timber CertificationScheme (MTCS), organises a conference on timber certification at Sunway PutraHotel here today as part of the programme line-ups for its 20th Anniversary celebration.        The conference is organised in collaboration with the Institute for Environment and Development(LESTARI), Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia.

Themed “Pushing Boundaries Advancing Sustainability”, the one-day conference is aimed at recapping 20 years of development and progress of timber certification in Malaysia as well as envisioning the future of certification beyond 2030. The conference is also positioned as a platform for industry players to discuss how the certification scheme and processes could capitalise on the digital economy to remain credible, effective and efficient.

In her keynote speech, YB Puan Teresa Kok says timber has been a traditional source of revenue and foreign income for Malaysia for decades. However, sustainably managing the forests and timber industry is not an easy task taking into account Malaysia’s rich biodiversity, complex tropical forest ecosystems as well as the presence of indigenous communities.

“When MTCC first started, many stakeholders viewed certification with concern, scepticism and uncertainty. Reflecting on MTCC’s efforts and achievements combined with the input and cooperation from forest managers, industry players and the relevant stakeholders, timber certification has indeed come a long way. It was therefore a real achievement when the MTCS was endorsed by the world’s largest forest certification scheme, the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification(PEFC) in May 2009. The endorsement by the PEFC confirms the robustness and credibility of the MTCS in meeting international requirements and standards. Asa PEFC-endorsed scheme, the MTCS also gains international recognition and acceptance,” she says.

In 2018, the annual export of PFC-endorsed MTCS-certified timber products have increased tremendously to348,802 cubic metres, comprising a wider range of products including sawn timber, plywood, mouldings, doors, builders’ carpentry and joinery, furniture and furniture parts, finger-jointed timber, as well as veneer and flooring.

“Apart from these traditional timber products, other products such as paper and wood pellets and briquettes have also been certified, signalling that the industry is getting more innovative and the market for certified products is expanding. To date, the MTCS-certified timber and timber products have been shipped to 66 destinations across the globe,” she adds.  

Since the MTCS started operations in2001, the Minister is happy to note that as at 31 August 2019, theMTCS-certified forest areas spanning 4.2 million hectares of natural forests and 109,025 hectares of forest plantation. The number of chain of custody-certified timber companies has also increased to 366. 

MTCC Chairman Datuk K. Yogeesvaran presenting an exclusive MTCS/PEFC-certified pepper grinder as a token of appreciation to Primary Industries Minister YB Teresa Kok at the MTCC 20th Anniversary Conference. On her right is Primary Industries Ministry Secretary General Dato’ Dr. Tan Yew Chong and MTCC Chief Executive Officer Yong Teng Koon (far right)

“Twenty seven years after the Earth Summit in 1992, only a total of 495 million hectares or 12% of the world’s forests have been certified for sustainable forest management, inclusive of 44million hectares or 8.8% from tropical forests. It is therefore heartening for me to note that about 10% of the total tropical forests certified in the world is contributed by MTCS,” she says, and regards MTCC’s achievement as highly commendable given the difficult situation in the market when it started its operation in 1999.

Earlier in his welcoming remarks, MTCC Chairman Datuk K. Yogeesvaran says the idea for third-party forest certification was mooted after the Earth Summit in 1992 as one of the ways to address concerns on deforestation and forest degradation particularly in tropical forests. It eventually resulted in the development of two international forest certification schemes and many national schemes including the MTCS. Datuk Yogeesvaranalso announced the new MTCC’s Vision and Mission at the event. 

About the conference

The MTCC 20th AnniversaryConference features industry dialogues on certification as a driver for disruptive innovations and the future of certification in a digital economy and beyond 2030.

In the first session, Timothy Pan of Bornion Timber talks about the influence of forest certification in a holistic management, while Harith Ridzuan, who is known as ‘The Green Carpenter’ talks about buying into the circular economy. Adela Askandar of Studio/Kedai Bikin speaks on the trend and demand for green products, followed by Dr. Antonio Brunori, the Secretary General of PEFC Italy, who presents a topic on “Making sustainability fashionable: Promoting product innovation through certification.”

The second session features a panel of experts from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification, Forestry Department Peninsular Malaysia, SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd, Malaysian Timber Council, Forest Research Institute Malaysia and WildlifeConservation Society discussing the future outlook for certification and sustainability in the forest and timber industry beyond 2030.     

The conference is attended by 200 participants from here as well as Singapore and Indonesia. It will be followed by an Anniversary Dinner and the MTCC Sustainability Awards ceremony later in the evening. 

Click to download slides presentation:

Setting the scene- Recapping twenty years of development and progress of timber certification in Malaysia- Dato’ Dr. FreezailahChe Yeom, Founding Chairman of MTCC

Session 1: Business unusual- Making room for disruptors

Summation and closing remarks by Yong Teng Koon, CEO, MTCC

Fast facts

  • In 2018, the timber industry garnered 1.6% to the Gross Domestic Product and the export value of timber products recorded a 4.0% decline of RM22.29 bilion, compared to RM23.22 billion in 2017. (Source: The Malaysian Timber Industry Board)
  • The first shipment of 732 cubic metres of MTCS-certified sawn timber was exported to the Netherlands on July 16, 2002.
  • The revised Vision and Mission statements, reflecting MTCC’s commitment to take sustainability to the next level are as below:
  • The Vision: A nation that appreciates and internalises the full value and contribution of forest towards global sustainability.
  • The Mission: MTCC is committed to strengthen the MTCS to realise the full value and contribution of forest through sustainable forest management and chain of custody certification.