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Malaysian FSC office open for business

The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) opened its doors in Malaysia as part of a strategic decision to tackle tropical deforestation. Source: Lesprom

Under the leadership of Interim Executive Director Andrew Ng, the FSC Malaysia office will engage leaders in the social, environmental and business communities about responsible forest management.

“Malaysia is a crucial country for tropical forestry. If countries like those in the European Union want a continued, sustainable supply of tropical timber decades from now, having FSC’s presence on the ground sets a strong precedent,” said Mr Ng.

“The main challenges we’ll encounter when introducing the FSC system will be around building awareness of and value for high conservation value species, indigenous peoples’ and forest workers’ rights and good forest governance.

“The latter will be most resource-intensive because it will require working closely with local government to bring about meaningful change.

“Tropical forests are complex and sensitive ecosystems, but this office will serve as a lighthouse for the region and encourage neighboring countries, and those across the Asia–Pacific region, to see the value of long term sustainable in-vestment over short-term unsustainable gain. We have an ambitious outlook for the future, and we’re willing to work hard to achieve it.”

In the coming months, FSC Malaysia will focus on getting the office off the ground. It will then be fully operational to serve existing Malaysian certificate holders, identify potential new certificate holders, monitor market trends, and create a national standard.