Missing Links - Malaysian Timber Certification Council

Publication - 17 May, 2005
Why the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC)certificate doesn't prove that MTCC timber is legalnor sustainable

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Executive summary: Illegal and unsustainable logging, in particular of tropical timber, has become a global environmental and social justice issue in recent decades. Initially slow to respond, Western governments are now focusing on the issue of legality, as a necessary precondition of any attempt to ensure sustainability of timber imports. The European Union is addressing this issue through its Action Plan for Forest Law Enforcement, Governance and Trade (FLEGT), which aims to support improved governance in producer countries and to introduce a licensing scheme for imports. To verify the legality of its timber exports, Malaysia has proposed to use the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) forest management and chain of custody certification scheme, founded on a joint project between Malaysia and the Netherlands in the mid-1990s to certify timber for sustainability, but now (on the strength of partial endorsements from the UK and Danish Governments) being promoted as offering guarantees of legality. However, research conducted by Greenpeace has cast grave doubts on MTCC’s claims to certify the legality and sustainability of timber, while a Greenpeace field investigation has produced first-hand evidence of a major MTCC-certified timber company acquiring what appeared to be illegal Indonesian timber.

Num. pages: 34