The speakers are, from left: Wong Ing Yung, Zedtee Sdn Bhd; Melvin Gumal, Wildlife Conservation Society; and Wendy Yong, Forest Research Institute Malaysia. The session was moderated by Siti Syaliza from the Malaysian Timber Certification Council.
Forest certification: That big technical word so misunderstood in our trade, but so loved by scientists, NGOs, academics and consumers.
Opening one of the partner sessions on November 18, Wendy Yong from the Forest Research Institute Malaysia sharing a paper on the role of forest certification and its biodiversity in Terengganu, Malaysia. Her research, began in 2014 and funded by PEFC, documented the preservation of plant diversity.
It was a very scientific paper but the technicalities don’t matter, them for businesses in the timber supply chain does, said Siti Syaliza from the Malaysian Timber Certification Council, the session’s moderator.
“There are a lot of aspects to look at in the forest,” Ms Siti said. “You need so much data from stakeholders to realise how complex certification is.”
Other constraints and complexities also include working with the federal, state and administrative jurisdiction in Malaysia. Dr Melvin Gumal from the Wildlife Conservation Society discussed concerns about the over-exploitation of forest lands, driving endangered fauna- such as tigers- into extinction.
He emphasised that conservation will have to include preserving the tigers’ food supply, legal enforcement on illegal poachers and biological monitoring. And now more than ever, forest certification, as it plays an important role in allowing for audits on landscapes and trees.
His efforts have been fruitful so far as more than 15,000km of patrols by foot, bike, 4WD and boat have been made in the state of Johor in 2015.
Beyond complexities, the impact of certification is far-reaching for businesses as well.
Wong Ing Yung from plywood supplier Zedtee Sdn Bhd demonstrated the economic benefits. Its PEFC-certified plywood will be part of the construction of the Tokyo 2020 Olympics stadium.
Zedtee harvests from the Ana Muput Forest Management Unit. Based on third party audits, its actions do not disrupt biodiversity or water quality. In the long run, the sustainable timber production will also be able to provide jobs for the local community.
Mr Wong Ing Yung from Zedtee Sdn Bhd, on the economic benefits of PEFC- certified plywood
Mr Wong also stressed on the importance of empowering community forest managers as well as cooperation with the government, NGOs and community. He concluded that beyond just planning, directing and administering programmes and initiatives, businesses that adopt sustainable forest management can also now be considered as forest managers.
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