Issues | WWF Malaysia


Standards and requirements towards certification and responsible purchasing

Demand for FSC certified tropical hardwood is increasing in Europe where the majority of buyer markets are. With only one FSC certified forest, Malaysia would not be able to cater to the vast demand. GFTN-Malaysia helps Malaysian producers to achieve certification through a stepwise approach and move towards responsible purchasing in order to meet the demand and more importantly, treat management of the forest and environment in a sustainable manner.

Previously, the international markets did not accept the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)’s Malaysia Criteria & Indicator (MC&I) as a credible tool since there was insufficient consultation in the standard setting process. This and other reasons resulted in the pull out of the social NGOs from the National Steering Committee (NSC). The MTCC has now updated its MC&I following the FSC Principles & Criteria (P&C) and it is now known as MC&I (2002). Since then, WWF-Malaysia has been pro-active in providing a mechanism to support and monitor the development and implementation of forest certification and responsible forestry in Malaysia. This will eventually lead to a Malaysian standards being accepted as credible certification by international markets.

Demand from buyers for wood originating from responsibly and sustainably managed forests is the primary reason for the setting up of producer networks. However, the reality of the challenges means that companies require a lot of technical assistance.  

Some producers have indicated that FSC standards are too high to be met or not entirely suited to every Forest Management Unit (FMU) managed. They maintain that there must be some flexibility or changes in adapting the standards in order for producers to realistically meet the requirements. WWF-Malaysia/GFTN has been actively involved in providing inputs to the FSC standards and evaluate whether changes are needed.
Train tracks through a peat swamp
Kuala Langat, Selangor
© WWF-Malaysia/L.Chan
Train tracks through a peat swamp Kuala Langat, Selangor
© WWF-Malaysia/L.Chan