Council welcomes move for mandatory forest certification

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) has welcomed the move for mandatory forest certification in Sarawak by the state government.

In applauding  the commitment by Sarawak Deputy Chief Minister, Datuk Amar Awang Tengah Ali Hasan, at the State Assembly recently, chief executive officer, Yong Teng Koon, said forest certification was an important instrument to promote and verify the implementation of sustainable forest management, towards safeguarding environmental, social and economic benefits.

“Furthermore, as the forestry and timber industries contribute significantly towards the socio-economic development of the country, it is imperative that Malaysia is able to demonstrate its forest sustainability credentials through certification,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Timber concessions in Sarawak will be required to obtain forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) to demonstrate that they are responsibly managed. Yong said the state’s commitment is therefore most encouraging and timely as it can act as a catalyst to ensure a further uptake of forest certification in line with the national sustainability agenda.

“We will work closely with stakeholders in Sarawak and provide the needed guidance on requirements to obtain forest certification. Ultimately, it must be demonstrated that forest management practices are in compliance with the requirements outlined in the MTCS before certification can be granted,” he added.

The MTCS sets requirements for sustainable forest management certification in Malaysia, and received the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification endorsement in 2009, which is the largest forest certification system in the world. — Bernama

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