Johor and Kedah are reapplying for the forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS).
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) chief executive officer Yong Teng Koon said previously, both states were MTCS-certified but subsequently lost their certification due to failure to comply with the requirement of the MTCS standards.
“Now Johor and Kedah are in the process of getting back the MTCS certification,” he told reporters after the MTCC 20th Anniversary Conference in Kuala Lumpur today.
Primary Industries Minister Teresa Kok (photo), in her opening speech, said the MTCS-certified forest areas consist of 4.2 million hectares of natural forests and 109,025 hectares of forest plantation as at Aug 31, 2019.
The number of chain of custody (CoC) certified timber companies has also increased to 366 or 10 percent of the total number of timber companies in Malaysia.
“This result shows a wide range of MTCS-certified products being exported internationally,” she said.
MTCS has helped Malaysia stamp its mark as a timber-producing nation that is determined to implement sustainable forest management.
“Additionally, it has also reflected our international commitment and obligations such as (those) contained in the Convention on Biological Diversity, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals 2030,” she added.
Meanwhile, MTCC chairman K Yogeesvaran said MTCC began its operations in 1999 to promote the implementation of sustainable forest management and to meet the demand for sustainably-produced timber products in the global market.
He said its original vision, which was to be recognised as the leading timber certification organisation for the tropical forest, was achieved when MTCS became the first tropical timber scheme in the Asia-Pacific region endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC).
Yogeesvaran said MTCS has since adopted a new vision - a nation that appreciates and internalises the full value and contribution of the forest towards global sustainability with a mission to strengthen the MTCS to realise the full value and contribution of the forest through sustainable forest management and CoC.
He said with the new vision and mission serving as a guide, the council has also formulated the MTCC Strategy 2020-2025 to enhance its certification efforts.
“As a member of the PEFC, the short-term strategy also takes cognisance of the PEFC Strategy 2018-2022,” he added.
MTCC also organised an inaugural conference in conjunction with its 20th anniversary celebration.
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.