THE Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) plans to use a new standard that has been developed using principles and criteria of the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) as the template for the next phase of its certification scheme, Primary Industries Minister Datuk Seri Dr Lim Keng Yaik said.
He said this when outlining Malaysia's sustainable forest management, MTCC's timber certification scheme and Malaysia's timber trade with Denmark at a dialogue session in Copenhagenon on Tuesday.
His speech text was issued by his ministry in Kuala Lumpur.
Lim said the MTCC was an independent organisation which operated Malaysia's national timber certification scheme.
He said MTCC, while ensuring sustainable forest management, had also shown its willingness to work with other timber certification schemes to meet the demand for certified timber.
He said the MTCC had become a member of the Pan European Forest Certification Council (PEFC) last year.
MTCC was now taking steps to submit its scheme for endorsement by the PEFC, he added.
Lim said this would also enable MTCC to achieve mutual recognition with the PEFC scheme in Denmark.
He said Malaysia also continued to be concerned with the issue of the sustainable management of the world's forest resources and was fully aware of the consequent increased interest and demand for certified timber products.
He added that Malaysia had had a long history of managing its forest resources.
On Denmark's trade with Malaysia, Lim said Denmark had been a major buyer of Malaysian plywood and joineries in Europe.
Last year, total timber export to Denmark amounted to RM76.2mil, which was 5% lower than the previous year's RM80.5mil.
Of the total export in 2002, US$11.4mil or 57% were builders' carpentry and joinery, US$3.7mil or 18% were furniture and US$3.4mil or 17% were plywood.
As at end of March, 1,622 cubic metres of MTCC-certified timber had been exported to The Netherlands, Germany and Britain, he added.
Lim hopes that Malaysia's efforts towards sustainable forest management will be supported by the timber trade and other related bodies in Denmark through the acceptance of the MTCC-certified timber products in the Danish market.
More importantly, importers and buyers of the MTCC-certified products should be willing to offer better prices for these products to offset the higher production cost incurred by the producing country, he said. Bernama