PEFC Receives Highest Rating Against ASEAN RAI

The Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) has received the highest rating against the ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (ASEAN RAI) which was launched on 3 November 2020. The 10 Guidelines of the ASEAN RAI are part of a broad range of initiatives aiming to ensure that investments in the food, agriculture and forestry (FAF) sectors in the ASEAN region comply with international frameworks, yet are regionally relevant and contextualised.

Twelve selected existing FAF industry standards and certifications were assessed against the 10 Guidelines. In the forestry industry sector, PEFC was rated 95% while the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) 90% – PEFC was rated higher due to its regional approach. The PEFC Sustainable Forest Management principles were used for this mapping exercise where the first five principles aligned with the ASEAN RAI Guidelines on food nutrition, economic development, natural resources, climate change and rule of law and governance. The sixth PEFC principle (maintenance or appropriate enhancement of socio-economic functions and conditions) emphasises economic development, support to marginalised populations (women, young people, indigenous people) as well as tenure rights and data collection. A partial match was observed with Guideline 10 (concerning regional approaches) when two of the six PEFC principles include specific references to regional policy and approaches. Overall, the PEFC Sustainable Forest Management principles aligned with 9.5 out of 10 of the ASEAN RAI Guidelines.

With the rating, organisations which are already adhering to these selected standards such as the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) could easily demonstrate alignment with the ASEAN RAI. MTCC is the National Governing Body for the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), an initiative to promote the implementation of sustainable forest management which has been endorsed by PEFC since 2009. MTCC plays the role as facilitator in the development of certification standards, ensuring that the development is done in accordance with globally-accepted best practices that guarantees a transparent, independent and inclusive process. MTCC is committed to ensure that the MTCS which is a groundbreaker scheme for tropical forest certification scheme in Asia, continues to meet and comply with the PEFC sustainability benchmarks.  

Guides FAF Investors 

The ASEAN RAI Guidelines were grounded in the Committee on World Food Security’s Principles for Responsible Investment in Agriculture and Food Systems (CFSRAI), which were endorsed in Rome in October 2015. The ASEAN Ministers on Agriculture and Forestry (AMAF) adopted the ASEAN RAI in October 2018 following a nine-month multi-stakeholder consultation process led by Grow Asia – a unique multi-stakeholder partnership platform that brings together farmers, governments, private sector, NGOs and other stakeholders in Southeast Asia to lift the productivity, profitability and environmental sustainability of smallholder agriculture in the region.  

The Guidelines lead agribusiness, governments, financial institutions and producers on investments to an existing landscape of voluntary sustainability standards and certifications that help guide responsible practices along value chains in ASEAN’s growing FAF sectors.

The Guidelines are linked to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), specifically, Goal 1 (to end poverty), Goal 2 (to end hunger), Goal 5 (to end all forms of discrimination against women and girls), Goal 8 (to promote decent work and economic growth), Goal 10 (to reduce inequality within and among countries), Goal 12 (to ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns), Goal 13 (to take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts), Goal 14 (to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources) and Goal 15 (to protect and restore ecosystems and life on land).

Source: Adapted from Grow Asia’s report on Rapid Land Assessment – Mapping of Industry and Investment Standards and Principles to the ASEAN Guidelines on Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (October 2020). 

Click here to download Grow Asia’s report

Mujong-Melinau FMU Awarded MTCS Certification

The Mujong-Melinau Forest Management Unit (Mujong-Melinau FMU) managed by Subur Tiasa Holdings Berhad has been awarded the Certificate for Forest Management (Natural Forest) on 24 August 2020. The certificate was issued by SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd following a successful certification audit conducted from 9 to 12 December 2019.  The certificate is valid for five years, subject to continued compliance based on yearly surveillance audits.

The Mujong-Melinau FMU, covering an area of 41,696 ha is located in the central region of Sarawak within the Kapit Division.

Johor FMU and Sapulut FPMU Awarded MTCS Certification

MTCC is pleased to announce that the Johor Forest Management Unit (FMU) and Sapulut Forest Development Sdn Bhd Forest Plantation Management Unit (Sapulut FPMU) have been awarded the Certificate for Forest Management (Natural Forest) and the Certificate for Forest Management (Forest Plantation.v2) respectively on 3 July 2020. The Certificates were awarded by SIRIM QAS International Sdn Bhd following successful certification audit and are valid for five years, subject to continued compliance based on yearly surveillance audits. 

Johor FMU is located within the State of Johor Permanent Forest Reserve covering an area of 285,292.87 ha while the Sapulut FPMU is located in Tibow, Sabah and the certification covers an area of 12,486.42 ha.

Teo Seng Paper Products Offers First PEFC-certified Egg Trays In Support Of Sustainable Development Goals

KUALA LUMPUR, 30 April 2020 – Johor-based Teo Seng Paper Products Sdn Bhd (Teo Seng Paper Products) stamped a mark in the local paper industry when it recently became the first company to obtain the Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification under the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) for its eco-friendly egg trays. Teo Seng Paper Products is a subsidiary of Teo Seng Capital Bhd, an investment holding company in which its principal businesses include poultry farming and marketing of chicken eggs, manufacturing and marketing of animal feeds, paper egg trays and organic fermented fertiliser, as well as distribution of animal health products and solution provider

As a leading global alliance of national forest certification systems, the PEFC works with the whole forest supply chain to support and ensure that forest and tree-based products are ethically and sustainably produced while encouraging consumers to make informed decisions when it comes to buying such products. The PEFC CoC Certificate enables Teo Seng Paper Products to use the PEFC label on its egg trays as a mark of its compliance to the sustainability requirements of the PEFC CoC standard. The label would not only boost the company’s competitive edge but also reflects its commitment in supporting national sustainability agenda.

The certificate was presented by BureauVeritas Malaysia (an independent Certification Body) certification manager Cynthia S.L. Tan to Teo Seng Paper Products director Nam Hiok Yong at the company’s plant in Yong Peng on March 12. The presentation of the certificate was witnessed by MTCC chief executive officer Yong Teng Koon. 

Teo Seng Paper Products product development executive, Edan Na said the company has been producing sturdy egg trays made of recycled newspapers and corrugated cartons since 1995, in line with its vision to produce sustainable products for the industry. At present, the company uses 400 tonnes of recycled papers to produce 6.3 million units of egg tray every month mainly for local consumption.

He said the company sees the PEFC CoCCertification not only for the green cause but also as a good marketing tool to penetrate new markets and enhance their market presence.

“Currently, most of our egg trays are utilised for our in-house egg brand and sold to local farms. With the PEFC label, we’re gearing up our efforts to enhance our sales and tap into other potential markets.”

“The certification is an important milestone for us as it is one of the company’s targets in going green. And turning wasted papers into an eco-friendly product is our way to help reduce congestions at the already limited dumpsites in our country. It’s our little contribution for Malaysia,” he added.    

Congratulating the company, MTCC chief executive officer Yong Teng Koon said the effort by TeoSeng Paper Products to have its paper egg trays certified is commendable and in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 12: Responsible Consumption and Production.  In utilising recycled materials, the company has shown its business leadership in mainstreaming its sustainability practices to ensure resource efficiency, reduce waste and that material consumption does not lead to over-extraction of resources and degradation of environmental resources.


KUALA LUMPUR, 29 February 2020 – Year 2020 sets the fourth edition of the Malaysian TimberCertification Council (MTCC) Academic Award on Sustainable Forest Management & Timber Certification (MTCC Academic Award) – a mark of recognition for academic excellence among students of forestry-based studies at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).

This year, MTCC presented the awards to two graduating students from the Faculty of Forestry for their overall academic performance and final year projects related to environmental aspect and the country’s furniture industry. Muhammad Iqbal Ishak received the award for his thesis titled “Soil Erosion on Deforested Land in Cameron Highlands”, while Tan Xu Chee was given the recognition for his research on “Labour Composition, Productivity and Skill Developments in the Malaysian Furniture Sector.” Each recipient received RM1,000 in cash and a certificate from MTCC.     

MTCC Chief Executive Officer Yong Teng Koon said the MTCC Academic Award is a joint effort between MTCC and UPM’s Faculty of Forestry since 2016.

“The objectives of the award are to motivate and inspire students at the university level to strive for excellence in their education as well as engage them to care for the forests and their sustainability. As we know, forestry education is very significant in helping to ensure the sustainability of our forests and shape a sustainable future.”

“The award is not only aimed at boosting academic excellence among university students from the forestry field. Most importantly, it is meant to engage and inspire these young generation to love and care for our forests and make them realise that they can make an impact from what they learn to build a sustainable future. We hope that with this award, we can instil an awareness in their eager minds that the future of our forests lies in their hands,” he added.

A Study on Wildlife Economic Value Wins The 2019 Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award

KOTA KINABALU, 24 November 2019 – Year 2019 marks the fourth year of establishment of the Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award, a collaborative effort between the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) and the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

Created in2016, the Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award is an academic award which is aimed to promote academic excellence by acknowledging students who have shown outstanding performance in forestry-related courses.

UMS student Damri Darman was the proud winner of the Freezailah Forest Sustainability Award 2019.  Damri received a cash prize of RM2,000 and a certificate of achievement from MTCC for his research titled “Penilaian Ekonomi Terhadap Pemuliharaan Hidupan Liar Di Pusat Pemulihan Orang Utan Sepilok, Sabah” (Economic Evaluation of Wildlife Conservation at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre, Sabah). The award was presented by MTCC Chief Executive Officer, Yong Teng Koon witnessed by Pro-Canselor of UMS, Ybhg. Tan Sri Azman Hashim and Vice-Chancellor, YBhg. Prof. Datuk Dr. Taufiq Yap Yun Hin at the award presentation ceremony held at the university here today.

Damri said the lack of specific studies on the economic impact of wildlife conservation at the Sepilok Orang Utan Rehabilitation Centre has motivated him to embark on his research.

“I was motivated to take on the topic after finding out that previous studies pertaining to conservation efforts are mainly about the centre being a tourism spot and not specifically on the wildlife. In my thesis, I show the impact value of the conservation efforts in monetary terms – I show how much we’re losing if the rehabilitation centre and its functions are not retained or turned into other purpose. Therefore, I hope that my thesis could help to raise awareness among the public on the importance of conservation efforts, specifically on wildlife,” said Damri after receiving the award.

Yong commended Damri on his research on the economic value of wildlife at the rehabilitation centre.

“Damri’s findings on the economic value of wildlife at the rehabilitation centre and the willingness of the public to pay for orang utan conservation is interesting and insightful. Through the study, he was able to provide an estimate on the economic value of the centre at RM9,697,074 per year with an overall conservation value of RM96,970,749 in 2017,” he said.

He said Damri was chosen out of four award nominees and the judging was based on the overall academic achievement as well as final year projects relating to fields such as sustainable forest management, forest certification, natural resources management, environmental impact assessment and timber and non-timber forest products utilisation, among others.   

Yong said that through the award, MTCC hoped to increase awareness on the importance of sustaining forests and natural resources especially among the younger generation and inspire them to make a positive impact on the environment by working in the forestry related fields upon graduation.


TheFreezailah Forest Sustainability Award was created in 2016 to honour MTCC’sFounding Chairman, Dato’ Dr. Freezailah Che Yeom who over the span of 17-year has contributed significantly to the growth of MTCC and the development of the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) as a reputable and internationally recognised certification scheme. 

This academic award is a joint effort between MTCC and the Faculty of Science and Natural Resources, Universiti Malaysia Sabah to inspire a new generation of forestry talents and to promote academic excellence by acknowledging students who have shown outstanding performance in forestry-related courses. It is also aimed at creating greater awareness and inculcating greater passion and love for the forests and their sustainability among university students. 


The MTCC Board took opportunity of its 79th meeting held in Kota Kinabalu on 18 March to visit the renowned Kota Kinabalu Wetlands – the first urban mangrove wetlands in the world to be given a Ramsar status, on 19 March 2019.

The visit which was organised by the Sabah Wetlands Conservation Society (SWCS) was indeed an eye opener for the trustees. The Kota Kinabalu Wetlands is located just two kilometers north-east of Kota Kinabalu and comprises of 60 acres of mainly replanted mangrove forest. 

Prior to the visit to the forest, the Board was received and welcomed by the President of SWCS Datuk Hj. Zainie Abdul Aucasa who is also a Trustee of the MTCC Board representing the environment interest. The Board was briefed on the management of the KK Wetlands and how it attained its Ramsar status in 2017. The Board also visited the KK Wetlands gallery museum before embarking on a 1.5km boardwalk into the mangrove forest to appreciate the mangrove ecosystem and the numerous species of fauna and flora found there.

MTCC Board of Trustees and Management From left: Dato’ Suki Mee, Mr Nor Azlan Yaacob, Ms Siti Syaliza Mustapha, Mr Low Ching Cheong, Dato’ Wan Mazlan bin Wan Mahmood, Datuk Haji Zainie Abdul Aucasa, Datuk K. Yogeesvaran, Dr Samsudin Musa, Dr Khamurudin Mohd Nor, Mr Wan Saifulikhmal Wan Abdul Rahman, Mr Yong Teng Koon, Ms Noor Eshah Yat



Nominations ends on 30 June 2019

In line with the MTCC 20thAnniversary Celebration’s tagline “Pushing Boundaries, Advancing Sustainability”, MTCC seeks to acknowledge, appreciate and celebrate the tremendous hard work, improvements and innovation undertaken by the certified organisations in meeting the stringent demands of forest management and chain of custody certification under the MTCS. Nominations are now open for certified organisations that have shown exemplary leadership and carried out inspirational initiatives in sustainability.

Malaysian Timber Certification Council, C-8-5, Block C, Megan Avenue 2, No. 12, Jalan Yap Kwan Seng, 50450 Kuala Lumpur

Contact further information regarding the Awards. 

“Pushing Boundaries, Advancing Sustainability”


Kuala Lumpur, 18 January – A group of international students majoring in Wood Science Technology from Kyungpook National University of Korea, visited the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) office to learn more about the process of timber certification in the country.

The two-hour visit was warmly received by MTCC CEO, Mr. Yong Teng Koon who also briefed the students on how the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) operated and its achievement by becoming the first tropical timber certification scheme in the region to be endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) – an accreditation body of the largest forest area in the world.

The students were also given the opportunity to discuss with MTCC management on how forest certification and the Chain of Custody (CoC) have becoming a vital role in championing the issue of sustainability.

MTCS is recognised by the Green Building Index (GBI) Malaysia under its Sustainable Timber criterion. As a PEFC-endorsed scheme, the scheme is also recognised by several green building schemes in Australia, Italy, The Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Canada, Japan and Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.