MTCC To use New FSC-Compatible MC&I by January 2005, 26 August

The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) Board of Trustees at its 19th meeting held on 31 July 2003 decided to use the new standard (MC&I), that has been developed using the Principles and Criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the template, for the next phase of the MTCC certification scheme beginning January 2005.

The MTCC timber certification scheme which began operation in October 2001 is being implemented using a phased approach. The standard currently used for assessing Forest Management Units (FMUs) for the purpose of certification is the Malaysian Criteria, Indicators, Activities and Standards of Performance for Forest Management Certification (known as the MC&I(2001) in short) which is based on the 1998 ITTO Criteria and Indicators for Sustainable Management of Natural Tropical Forests. It contains the key elements for sustainable forest management covering economic, social, environmental and conservational aspects. So far, eight timber producing State FMUs in Peninsular Malaysia have been independently assessed using this standard. In addition, a FMU in Sarawak has undergone a pre-assessment against the requirements of this standard.

As part of the MTCC-FSC cooperation, a multi-stakeholder National Steering Committee (NSC) that was formed in April 2001 has developed the Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification[known as the MC&I(2002) in short] using the FSC Principles and Criteria as the template. The development of the MC&I(2002) involved broad-based consultation and consensus between social, environmental and economic stakeholder groups through several meetings of the NSC and regional consultations held in Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah and Sarawak where appropriate regional verifiers were identified.

These consultations culminated in the national-level consultation in October 2002 where representatives of all the stakeholder groups from the three regions met to finalise and adopt the MC&I(2002). MTCC facilitated the consultation process by serving as the secretariat for the NSC. The MC&I(2002) will be field-tested in the three regions