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Endorsement of Malaysian Scheme Gives Buyers Confidence about Tropical Wood

May 05 2009

The Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) has become the first tropical timber certification scheme in the Asia Pacific region, and the second in the world after the Gabonese Forest Certification Scheme, to be endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC).

"The endorsement of MTCS is a significant achievement for the sustainable forest management community as whole. While the certification movement has its origins in efforts to protect tropical forests, over 90% of the world's certification today takes place in the temperate forests of Europe and North America," explained Ben Gunneberg, PEFC Secretary General. " Yet tropical forests in the Southern hemisphere offer the most benefits to tackling some of society's biggest challenges, including climate change, combating deforestation and forest degradation, and maintaining the world's precious biodiversity."

Dato' Dr. Freezailah Che Yeom, Chairman of the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC), which operates the MTCS, said, "MTCC is indeed pleased and proud to have obtained the PEFC endorsement, which shows that the various aspects of the MTCS, such as the institutional arrangement and certification standards used, have met the stringent requirements of the PEFC. It gives further assurance that forests certified under the MTCS are implementing the best management practices and contributing towards the challenging efforts to ensure sustainable forest management, particularly for the tropical rainforests."

Dr. Freezailah added that the endorsement enables the MTCS to achieve mutual recognition with 26 other PEFC-endorsed certification schemes. This means that the MTCS-certified timber product manufacturers and exporters will soon be able to combine PEFC certified material from Malaysia with other PEFC certified material under the PEFC logo.

The decision to endorse the 2002 Malaysian Criteria and Indicators for Forest Management Certification was announced on 5 May 2009 following the outcome of the General Assembly vote among the PEFC members on the recommendation of the Board of Directors, based on an assessment of the MTCS by an independent assessor appointed by the PEFC Council.

The endorsement is valid for a five year period, with periodic review to ensure the continued compliance of the MTCS.

Read the full report.