The Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) has been awarded the Certificate of Appreciation from the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification Scheme (PEFC) for the greatest increase in PEFC-certified forest area. The award was presented at the virtual PEFC Awards Ceremony held on 11 November 2020 in conjunction with PEFC International’s 25th General Assembly. The Certificate of Appreciation was presented by PEFC International Chairman, Peter Latham and PEFC International Secretary General, Ben Gunneberg.
Based in Geneva, PEFC is the world’s biggest non-profit, non-governmental organisation of forest certification system. Since 2009, MTCC has been the national governing body that implements the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) endorsed by PEFC.
The recognition was given to MTCC for the marked increase of 957,583 ha of MTCS/PEFC-certified forest area from September 2019 to September 2020. The total certified forest area in 2019 was 4,315,151 ha and increased to 5,272,734 ha with the certification of ten forest management units (FMUs) in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. This is in addition to the existing 20 FMUs, many of which have been maintaining their certification for over ten years. These include FMUs for the states of Negeri Sembilan, Pahang, Perak, Selangor and Terengganu, Anap-Muput FMU in Sarawak and Segaliud Lokan FMU in Sabah. Despite the overall increase, a number of FMUs have their certification suspended and withdrawn over the years due to non-conformity with the sustainable forest management standard.
In the award acceptance remarks, MTCC Chairman, Kamaruzaman Mohamad dedicated the achievement to the concerted effort and commitment from the forest managers and stakeholders in managing the forest sustainably under the MTCS.
“We dedicate this award to everyone who has been working tirelessly behind the scene – the forest managers in particular, and all our stakeholders – civil society and governmental organisations, industry, unions and academician – who have been supporting our efforts to ensure sustainable forest management is implemented, independently assessed to the highest standards and continuously monitored for improvement. Without this shared vision and commitment to sustain our forests for the future, this achievement would not have been possible,” he said. Also present at the event was MTCC CEO, Yong Teng Koon.
Apart from certified forest areas, MTCC currently has 382 PEFC-certified timber companies under the MTCS.