FSC Forest Management Certification in Malaysia

As a forest manager: you can demonstrate your commitment towards ensuring the well-being of forests and the lives that depend on them, through FSC Forest Management (FM) certification, which in turn will enable you to reap the benefits of forests that are managed responsibly in conformance with FSC standards.

All FSC forest management is based on the FSC Principles and Criteria for Forest Stewardship which are adapted at the regional or national level through the International Generic Indicators.

The formal basis for FSC forest management (FM) certification in Malaysia is the National Forest Stewardship Standard (NFSS) of Malaysia (FSC-STD-MYS-01.1-2021 EN), against which forests operations in Malaysia are assessed in order to become FSC-certified. 

The NFSS of Malaysia applies to all types of forest (including forest plantations) operations seeking FSC certification within Malaysia (Peninsular Malaysia, Sabah, and Sarawak), covering all scales and intensities of forest management operations at the Management Unit level. It includes timber and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) such as:

  • Fruits (edible or non-edible);
  • Sap or gland secretion: gum, resin, latex;
  • Medicinal herbs: leaves, rods, barks, roots, mushrooms;
  • Stem plants: rattan, bamboo, sap wood, heart wood.

Group & SLIMF Certification

Forests managers can come together to form a group certification scheme and share their efforts for forest management planning, harvesting, monitoring and marketing their products. Group certification makes it easier, particularly for smallholders, to become FSC certified, as it enables group members to share costs and workload for applying and maintaining an FSC certificate.

Small or low-intensity managed forests (SLIMF) are eligible for streamlined requirements and auditing procedures that reduce the costs and efforts of the certification. Many countries have developed specific forest management requirements for SLIMF in their national standards, to facilitate the certification process for smallholders. 

For example in Malaysia, the NFSS of Malaysia allows for the following:

  • The following relevant documents can be downloaded from the FSC document centre:

    V1-0 SLIMF Eligibility Criteria.

    FSC Standard for Group Entities in Forest Management Groups

    Forest Management Evaluations

    Small Management Unit

    NFSS of Malaysia will use a new threshold for defining small management units – 40.46 ha (or 100 acres), instead of the global default value of 100 ha. Reason: the threshold of 40.46 ha is generally considered for the identification of smallholders in Malaysia, based on the legal requirements in the country.

  • Low-intensity Managed Forests

    Management units from which Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) are collected or harvested shall be evaluated as ‘low intensity’ on the basis of the harvest rate. A management unit consisting of natural forest in which only NTFPs are harvested would, therefore, qualify as a ‘low intensity’ Management Unit.

Continuous Improvement Procedure

FSC-PRO-30-011 Continuous Improvement Procedure  is a new procedure that allows small forest owners and communities to be initially certified based only on a subset of forest management requirements and offers flexible steps towards conformity with the remaining requirements within a defined timeframe.

Controlled Wood

Controlled wood is material from acceptable sources that can be mixed with FSC-certified material in products that carry the FSC Mix label. The controlled wood requirements identify five categories of unacceptable sources for wood, which is not allowed to be mixed with FSC-certified material. These are:

  • Illegally harvested wood
  • Wood harvested in violation of traditional and human rights
  • Wood harvested in forests in which high conservation values (HCVs) are threatened by management activities
  • Wood harvested in forests being converted to plantations or non-forest use
  • Wood from forests in which genetically-modified trees are planted 

The controlled wood standards

Controlled wood meets the requirements of the two main FSC controlled wood standards. ·

FSC-STD-40-005 V3-1 FSC Requirements for Sourcing FSC Controlled Wood - This standard directs businesses to avoid sourcing material from unacceptable sources. 

FSC-STD-30-010 V2-0 FSC Controlled Wood Standard for Forest Management Enterprises - This standard specifies requirements for forest management enterprises to show that their management practices result in material from acceptable sources.

FSC Document Centre

From policies, to national standards, to controlled wood risk assessments, the most up-to-date versions of documents from our normative framework can be found in the FSC Document Centre.