KUALA LUMPUR: Once Lesong’s forests are turned into forest plantation areas, timber logged there cannot be exported to developed markets.
Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) chief executive Yong Teng Koon revealed that timber from these places could, however, be sold to local mills and countries that allow the importation of uncertified timber.
“Timber that originates from forest areas converted into forest plantation is regarded as coming from controversial sources and, therefore, cannot be certified,” Yong told The Star.
He said timber approved under the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) could be exported to developed markets such as Britain and the United States.
Non-certified timber, he said, could only be sent to countries that were not bound by these policies, such as Thailand.
Yong added that as far as the Lesong forest reserve was concerned, the portion covering 16,896ha that had been earmarked for the establishment of forest plantation, was outside the scope of certification of natural forest under the MTCS, created to develop and operate a voluntary national timber certification scheme and said to be the first of its kind in Asia.
Its role is to make sure that our forests are logged sustainably and meet the market demand for certified timber.
Yong added that a permanent reserve forest, such as Lesong, should not be degazetted into a forest plantation establishment, preferring for its land status to stay as forest cover.
He said he was worried that such an area might be converted to other land use.
An MTCC official said timber latex clones (or rubberwood) were recommended as one of eight timber species under the Malaysian Timber Industry Board’s Forest Plantation Development Programme.
“According to this programme, the Federal Government plans to open some 375,000ha of fast-growing timber tree plantations in Malaysia over a 15-year period,” the official said.
The other seven species are acacia, jati, sentang, khaya, kelempayan (or laran), batai and binuang.Related story:
Palanivel tells Pahang government rampant destruction can damage ecosystem