Tuesday, 05 March 2019
FSC Malaysia launches its National Forest Stewardship Standards (NFSS)
Kuala Lumpur, 4 March: FSC Malaysia today launched the National Forest Stewardship Standards (NFSS), seven years since the process was initiated by the Malaysian Standards Development Group (SDG).
Against a backdrop of long-standing complicated and challenging policies and practices governing forests in Malaysia, the 208 indicators and 634 verifiers contained within our NFSS, sets a path to ensure Malaysia’s forests can be responsibly and sustainably managed – for forests and the people.
The NFSS is a nationally adapted standard of what is considered the world’s most rigorous and credible forest certification scheme, jointly supported by industry, environment and community groups.
Malaysia is the first country in Southeast Asia to establish its NFSS; fourth in the Asia Pacific region after Nepal, China and Australia.
The landmark event was witnessed by some 80 representatives from the forest and business sectors as well as environmental and social NGOs throughout the country.
As traders, corporations and consumers today become more aware and question the origins of the products purchased, FSC becomes even more relevant.
“Many amongst us, especially the younger generation, are born not only as digital natives, but also sustainability natives. Thankfully, certification processes like FSC provides the assurance that consumers seek, that the wood products they are purchasing are from sustainably managed forests.” said Dr Adrian Choo, Chair of the FSC Malaysia Board.
The FSC and its distinctive ‘checkmark and tree’ logo – most common at the back of books sold in bookstores nationwide, milk cartons and tissue paper - has been in place since 1994. There is no forest certification scheme in the word today that has as much presence in the market shelves as FSC. It is a representation of forest managers, businesses and people continue to make ethical and responsible choices that respects the true value of forests.
“With the growing global demand for sustainable timber products, the National FSC Standard will help Malaysia tap into this growth market by utilizing a globally recognised trust mark for sustainable forest management” said Dr Choo.
Some 755,000ha of natural forest and plantations are currently certified by FSC in Malaysia, with 83% of them in Sabah, comprising 11 forest reserves, while the remaining concessions are in Terengganu.
“The forest industry has carried the tag of "destroyers of the forest" for far too long. Malaysia's forest industry is not lost. Change our business model, change our forest policies, and we can again become a major player in the world. But to do that, we must stop converting our forests to other uses” added Anthony Sebastian, FSC International Board Director, who is also the Chair of the Malaysian SDG.
FSC certification provides a greater access to markets and have been proven to have positive impacts on the environment, social development and governance. What FSC provides with nationally-suitable standards is first and foremost, to strengthen Malaysia’s forestry sector and to offer Malaysia a tool to demonstrate strong sustainability credentials of its forest industry.
“FSC-Malaysia exists because Malaysians desire environmentally sound, socially beneficial and economically viable management of Malaysia's forests. We are here because Malaysia’s forests are important, we are Malaysians and we are here to stay”, said Sebastian.