Workshop identifies Sarawak’s pain points in achieving full sustainable forest management certification

Over 110 representatives from the forestry and timber industries attended the workshop jointly organised by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council and Sarawak Timber Association.

Sarawak has an uphill task achieving full forest management certification by 2022, Acting Director of Forests, Tuan Hamden Haji Mohammad, said.

He was speaking at a two-day workshop on implementing forest management certification held February 5 to 6 in Kuching.

The workshop, organised by the Sarawak Timber Association (STA) and Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), identifies issues faced by long-term forest timber licence holders in obtaining forest management certification under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS), and what is needed to close the gaps. A total of 110 participants attended.

The State Government last year announced that all long-term forest licence holders must be certified by 2022. Tuan iterated that the State will support the timber industry and urged other relevant agencies to achieve this agenda together.

Some of the current issues in forest management include the lack of expertise and capacity to fulfill the requirements of FMC standards as well as conflicting interpretation of native customary rights relating to land use. There are also overlapping requirements in the guidelines formulated by different agencies.

With regard to the draft Forest Management Certification Licence Agreement (FMCLA), the Workshop hoped that the concerns raised by the timber industry would be taken into account.