BWI supports MTCC/PEFC multi-stakeholders dialogue

A BWI delegation attended the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) and Programme for Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) Multi-Stakeholders Dialogue Conference on 28 July 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Mohd Khalid Atan, titular member of BWI Asia-Pacific regional committee and President of the Timber Industry Employees Union (TEUPM) led the mission.

In his presentation during the panel discussion feedback, experiences and recommendations of stakeholders on Malaysian Timber Certification System (MTCS), Atan urged the MTCC to seriously consider holding a joint training programme with the trade union organisation member of MTCC and its accredited certification bodies on ILO Core Conventions.

“From our actual field experiences, we have observed that many certification bodies are not familiar with ILO conventions that are embedded in the MTCS and most often than not is overlooked if not totally neglected during the course of audit”, said Khalid.

In his keynote address Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General of PEFC, cited the trailblazing contribution of MTCC in the development of other national country-level certification systems such as in Indonesia and China as well as inspired other Asian countries to follow suit as such Myanmar, Thailand, Philippines, Nepal and India, to cite a few.

“There is no doubt that MTCC has pioneered and inspired many in the certification movement in Asia to develop and adopt national certification system suitable to each peculiar settings and dynamics of the actors within the realm of Sustainable Forest Management”, said Gunneberg.

Prior to the multi-stakeholders dialogue, the BWI delegation has met with Gunneberg and MTCC officials to alert them on the expressed interest of Sabah Forest Industry (SFI) to be certified through MTCS. “The MTCC and its accredited certification bodies should be wary with SFI intention to be certified under MTCS as SFI is publicly known to have violated Malaysian Trade Union Act and ILO conventions on right to self-organisation and collective agreement as evidenced of the on-going industrial dispute on recognition of Sabah Timber Industry Employees Union,” said Khalid Atan.