Forest Stewardship Council to meet in Sabah


KOTA KINABALU: The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), an independent, non-governmental, notfor- profit organisation established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests, will hold its sixth general assembly here in Sabah from June 27 to July 1.

“The event will mark nearly two decades of FSC vision in action, and bring together members and stakeholders from around the world to participate in the unique democratic forum of FSC,” FSC announced at its official website.

FSC encourages all its members and stakeholders from the Global North and South to participate in the general assembly, saying that by working together, “we can continue finding solutions that benefit the people and forests worldwide”.

The FSC General Assembly is the organisation’s highest decision-making body.

Its members representing the social, environmental and economic chambers come together every three years to discuss a sustainable future for the world’s forests and the people who inhabit them.

The FSC officials made several visits to Sabah in the past years before its board of directors made the final decision to pick the Pacific Sutera, part of the Sutera Harbour Resort complex here, as venue for the assembly.

The event shall gather delegates from national initiatives, certification bodies, certificate holders including the Deramakot Forest Reserve of Sabah, trade unionists, NGOs, members, observers and others to address the crucial link between the welfare of people and forests.

The FSC General Assembly is made up of the three membership chambers: environmental, social and economic, which are further split into subchambers of global North and South.

“The purpose of the chamber structure is to maintain the balance of voting power between different interests without having to limit the number of members. The FSC board of directors is accountable to the FSC members. It is made up of nine individuals who are elected from each of the chambers for a three-year term,” its statement said.

The FSC members have the right to attend and vote at the FSC General Assembly as well as to formulate and submit motions.

“It is in this dynamic environment where valuable concerns and constructive criticism are brought into a forum; different stakeholders work together in an equitable way to make important strategic decisions that define the further of the organisation.” In its appeal for participation, the statement adds that, “By supporting the FSC General Assembly, you assist FSC as it works to meet the world’s urgent need for healthy and socially responsible forest economies.”

Touching on the significance of the event, it states that the 2011 general assembly represents an opportunity to support FSC as it works to implement responsible forest management worldwide.

“Business leaders and representativesfrom the non-profit sector and local communities will discuss a variety of topics with a focus on finding solutions; collectively we chart the course for strengthening the FSC,” he added.

Established in 1993 as a response to concerns over global deforestation, FSC is a pioneer forum where the global consensus on responsible forest management convenes.