Leadership in Sustainable Forest Management in Asia

Malaysia will showcase the role of its forest in the global climate battle at Expo 2020 Dubai, which commences on 1 October 2021. With the theme “Energising Sustainability”, Malaysia will feature a net zero carbon Rainforest Canopy pavilion. Image from the Malaysian Green Technology and Climate Change Centre.

Feature from the
Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC)
8 February 2021
 
“Malaysian forests, with their complex ecosystems and richness in species of both flora and fauna, is considered one of the world’s mega-diverse countries.” (FAO 2020.)
 
Leadership in Sustainable
Forest Management in Asia
 
Malaysia is recognised globally for achieving the right balance between conservation and development. It has managed to retain 50% of total land area as tropical forest and at the same time developed a timber export industry that is the envy of its Asian neighbours.
 
As a major producer and exporter of tropical timber products, the country achieved total export of timber and timber products of RM17.81 billion – that’s the equivalent of US$4.4 billion - from January to October 2020, according to data by the Department of Statistics Malaysia and the Malaysian Timber Industry Board.
 
This is particularly significant as it occurred when the pandemic was raging around the world, and it remains in line with the export of timber products over the past decade, which have averaged around RM20 billion annually, thus reflecting the industry’s importance to Malaysia’s economy.
 
How did a country that relied so heavily on its primary resources manage to maintain so much of its forest areas amidst population growth and meeting demands for more infrastructure and pressure to extract more timber?
 
The answer lies in the far-sighted vision of the country’s leadership towards sustainable development.
 
Ensuring a balance between the development of the timber industry and the conservation of forests - numbered among the world’s oldest forests - is the role of certification. That’s the view of Malaysia Timber Certification Council (MTCC) Chairman Kamaruzaman Mohamad.
 
He adds: “Ensuring proper balance between development and nature preservation is not a walk in the park, especially when Malaysia depends on timber resources as one of its income earners.” 
 
But the global pandemic has brought to the forefront new studies on the importance of conserving forest in cushioning its effects on livelihoods and the overall wellbeing of Mother Earth in the future.
 
The United Nations’ Department of Economic and Social Affairs reported in June 2020 that “research indicates that land conservation, reduction of forest loss and fragmentation, creation of buffer zones through forest restoration could reduce human-wild animal interactions and thus reduce the risk of future disease outbreaks.”
 
The Food & Agriculture Organisation (FAO), in its latest 2020 report notes: “The tropical forests in Malaysia are important national treasures and will continue to play important roles in ensuring the stability of the ecosystem and are closely linked to the socioeconomic development of the country and the wellbeing of the people”.
 
All this adds to what Malaysia plans to showcase at Expo 2020 in Dubai, which starts on 1 October 2021 - delayed for a year by the pandemic - where the achievements of the forestry sector will figure prominently in Malaysia’s theme “Energising Sustainability”.
 
Central to this is the role played by the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) – managed by MTCC - when in 2009 it became the first certification scheme for tropical forests in the Asia Pacific to be endorsed by the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC), the world’s largest forest certification system.
 
Malaysia might have been the first country in Asia for PEFC, but its good example has encouraged others in the region to join, including Thailand, Vietnam, Myanmar, Indonesia, Japan, Korea and China.
 
But Malaysia has also continued to set the scene in Asia for sustainable forest management. It was awarded the Gold Medal for achieving the biggest increase in PEFC-certified forest area in 2020 – the best in the world - with over 950,000 hectares in 10 forest management units in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak.
 
The FAO also acknowledges that “the key objective of the forest management in Malaysia has been to ensure the continuity of product flow, while conserving the complex ecosystems and maintaining the rich and varied in flora and fauna. Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) remains the common policy thrust in Malaysia, in line with sustainable development goals”.
 
It’s worth pointing out that Malaysia’s leadership in Sustainable Forest Management in the ASEAN region and its 20-year involvement with forest certification, has helped PEFC achieve the highest ranking in the 2020 assessment against the ASEAN RAI Guidelines, thanks to its coordinated national and regional approach. 
 
The Association of Southeast Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) Guidelines for Promoting Responsible Investment in Food, Agriculture and Forestry (ASEAN RAI) offers guidance on food, agriculture and forestry investments to agribusinesses, governments, financial institutions and producers.
 
Which all goes to show that Malaysia’s achievements in Sustainable Forest Management, along with its support for the timber exporting industry, have gone hand-in-hand with its record in the conservation of natural forests.
 
A perfect fit for the future, too.

Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific February 2021

Big Global Boost for Mass Engineered Timber Buildings

The move to Mass Engineered Timber buildings in Asia Pacific and around the world received a big boost when Jaguar Land Rover - owned by Tata Motors of India - announced last month that its Advanced Product Creation Centre has the largest mass engineered timber roof in the United Kingdom. Encompassing 1,512m³ of PEFC-certified glulam beams and 2,674m³ of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels manufactured by Binderholz, the engineered timber roof makes a huge design statement covering an area of over 50,000m2.Tata Motors, India’s largest automotive manufacturer, has been the parent company since 2008, and in 2013 the Jaguar and Land Rover brands merged to form one unified company. More from PEFC here.

MANGO Labels & Paper Shopping Bags PEFC-certified

Next time you buy a Mango branded fashion item - in store or onllne - check out the packaging. The Spanish fashion brand represented around the globe, insists that 100% of MANGO shopping bags are made from PEFC-certified paper sourced from sustainably managed forests. In addition, all MANGO labels use certified cardboard, most often carrying the PEFC logo, a guarantee that it's from sustainably managed forests, and do not contribute to the deforestation of forests at the risk of extinction. Read more about MANGO & sustainability here.

PEFC "trusted ecolabel" in Australian Procurement Guide

PEFC has been recognised by the Australian Government as a 'trusted ecolabel' in the new Sustainable Procurement Guide released by the Department for Environment. Whilst this publication is designed for government entities, it will ultimately have utility beyond government as large corporates often pick these up to reform or inform their own procurement guides and requirements. Responsible Wood, representing PEFC in Australia and New Zealand says this guide provides step-by-step guidance on how to consider sustainability in the different stages of the procurement process, from identifying the business need to the end of the contract, including review and reporting. Read more here.

MTCC & Eco Sense for the Paper, Print & Packaging Forms

Sustainable Paper Trends and the Need for PEFC Certification in collaboration with Malaysia Timber Certification Council (MTCC), was the theme of the Eco sense Forum/Webinar conducted at the end of last month. Participants learnt how Chain of Custody certificate holders can gain access to global markets. The Eco Sense Forum also helped businesses to gain a deeper understanding on how to work with other economic sector players on their supply chain compliance. Pictured is Teo Seng's Certified Paper Egg Cartons. MTCC wanted the forum to aid better informed decision making for SMEs in the print, paper and packaging industry, much needed in these times of economic uncertainty.  See and hear more here.

Canadian Influence for Mass Timber Building in Asia

While climate change and its related effects remain a global challenge, in the Canadian province of British Columbia (BC), municipalities are taking action to reduce its impact at the local level. Cities and towns across are encouraging low carbon construction using light-frame wood and mass timber, along with high-performance energy-efficient design. All of which they hope will lead to greater economic growth. BC's Forestry Innovation Investment (FII) is also encouraging Asian countries to come on board. It's encouraging wood use in construction and prefabrication by leveraging Chinese government initiatives around construction industrialisation and green building. BC is also active in India South Korea and Japan. Read more.

PEFC Joins International Rubber Study Group (IRSG)

The International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) is an inter-governmental organization with the main objective of improving the transparency of the world rubber market and strengthening the international cooperation on rubber issues. IRSG is pleased to announce PEFC International has joined the IRSG Panel of Associates. PEFC as one of its Founding Members of the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR). PEFC will be launching its Supporting Sustainable Rubber campaign (SSR) in April this year. It is in PEFC’s DNA to meet the needs of smallholders in the forestry sector, and as approximately 85% of rubber production globally comes from smallholders, it is essential that they are meaningfully represented in this new platform. Read More.

PEFC Says Plant More Urban Trees to Cut Heat Island Effect

More of us live in cities than ever before. But cities are the big producers of greenhouse gas emissions, leading to polluted air. Urban trees can help by reducing energy needs and cleaning the air. Singapore’s climate-change problems are compounded by the Urban Heat Island effect. Thanks to hard, heat-absorbing surfaces, the temperature of a built-up urban area can be several degrees higher than the land around it. That variance has grown to 7 degrees Celsius from 4.5 degrees Celsius in 2004, according to research by the Cooling Singapore project at the Singapore-ETH Centre (SEC), a research partnership between the city-state and Switzerland.  See the PEFC video

Asia Pacific Rayon's Sustainable Future in Global Compact

Asia Pacific Rayon (APR) has been accepted as a United National Global (UN) Compact member, joining the global network of over 10,000 companies committed to building a sustainable future by implementing the Ten Universal Principles of the UN Global Compact on human rights, labour, environment, and anti-corruption. APR has PEFC Chain of Custody certification as this provides independent verified assurance that the certified forest-based material contained in a product originates from certified sustainably managed forests. Read all about it.

Alert for Asia Pacific Architects: Call for WAF Prize Entries

Asia Pacific architects need to know that the World Architecture Festival (WAF) now takes place 1-3 December 2021 in Lisbon, Portugal. The Festival moved from the original dates in June, due to the ongoing uncertainty created by COVID-19. The entry deadline is now 7 May 2021. For the third year in a row, PEFC is sponsoring the Best Use of Certified Timber Prize. The Prize rewards architects and project teams for using certified timber as the main construction material for buildings outstanding in sustainability, innovation, quality or aesthetics. Read More

If you need more information on any of the items above, or any other work by PEFC in Asia Pacific, feel free to contact:
Or go to PEFC International: www.pefc.org
 
 
 

 

 

 

Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific January 2021

LABELS ON PRODUCTS DEMONSTRATE BUSINESS COMMITMENT TO SUSTAINABILITY AND RESPONSIBLE SOURCING
 
 
All businesses in Asia Pacific which are selling PEFC-certified products are encouraged to use the PEFC label on both products and all promotional materials, such as brochures, posters and websites. The label enables a business to demonstrate its commitment to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, as well as to highlight its engagement with sustainable forest management. By generating awareness and demand for products from PEFC-certified forests, businesses are helping to increase the value of forests and therefore reduce the risk of deforestation. PEFC has introduced a Label Generator so businesses can customise the label to suit every need, while being assured that the label remains in line with prescribed graphic requirements. Read more here.
 
Malaysia To Showcase the Role of Forests at Expo in Dubai
 
 
More than 50% of the Malaysia’s landmass is still blanketed by forests after 63 years of post-independence nation-building. How did a country that relied so heavily on its primary resources, manage to maintain so much of its forest areas amidst population growth and meeting demands for more infrastructure and pressure to extract more timber? The answer lies in the appreciation and far-sighted vision of the country’s leadership towards sustainable development. That’s one clear message in Malaysia’s participation at Expo 2020, scheduled for 1 Oct. 2021 to 31 March 2022. More from MTCC here.
 
Sustainably Produced Energy from Rubber Wood Pellets
 
 
A Thailand manufacturer is producing high quality and environmentally-friendly wood pellet biomass fuel, using wood from rubber trees, which contributes to, and promotes, sustainable forest management through PEFC certification. “We aim to increase using renewable energy, especially from wood pellets, which are environmentally-friendly”, says Surapol Siripongsakorn, Chief Executive of PHATTANAPHAN CHEMITECH. Their wood pellets have high density, low humidity, producing a very high combustion efficiency, with less ash and are easy to transport, thereby reducing its carbon footprint and attaining PEFC certification. More on the process here.
 
Myanmar Making Good Progress with Sustainable Forestry
 
 
“Myanmar has demonstrated a very good commitment to the Sustainable Forest Management in the last few years, not only in the project but also in the development of the international scheme, and PEFC looks forward to the continued cooperation and collaboration with Myanmar Forest Certification Committee' (MFCC)” said Ben Gunneberg, Secretary General/CEO of PEFC. “Without the support from the PEFC and Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, we (MFCC) cannot be here right now, it is not the end but just the beginning,” said Win Hlaing, CEO of MFCC-PEFC Project. More from Myanmar here.
 
Australian Supermarket Offers PEFC Certified Paper Bags
 
 
Responsible Wood has welcomed an announcement by the leading retail chain Woolworths that it will be stocking PEFC-certified Australian-made paper bags in South Australia and the Northern Territory. Woolworths’ paper shopping bags were first launched in June 2020 in response to customer demand for a paper carry bag option. Woolworths Supermarkets Managing Director, Natalie Davis said: “Earlier this year we introduced the option of a paper bag, which can be recycled at home, and the feedback from customers has been positive.” More and more, shoppers are ditching plastic packaging and instead opting for environmentally friendly alternatives including naturally recyclable, fibre-based products. More from Responsible Wood here.
 
Sustainably Sourced Home Office Furniture on the Rise
 
“In times of a pandemic such as this, we’re obliged to make sure our homes are equipped to serve as a workplace – office, study, studio or even factory – as more and more of us have been forced to stay at home. So what really matters to consumers these days when furnishing the home or office?” This was the question asked and answered in a PEFC article in the December 2020 issue of Panels and Furniture Magazine. It drew attention to the importance of sustainability and responsible sourcing, which is at the heart of Singapore-based Soul & Tables, which imports finished furniture from Europe to sell in Singapore and South East Asia, making sure that all its wood products are ethically sourced and from sources certified by PEFC. More in Panels & Furniture
 
Achieving Balance between Conservation & Development
 
 
Ensuring a balance between the development of the timber industry and the conservation of forests - numbered among the world’s oldest forests - is the role of certification, said Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) chairman Kamaruzaman Mohamad. He added, “Ensuring proper balance between development and nature preservation is not a walk in the park, especially when Malaysia depends on timber resources as one of its income earners. The only way to achieve this balance is by managing the resources sustainably and when it comes to timber, certification is the key.” Read the full report in The Star. 
 
IFCC & PEFC Alternatives to CertiSource in Indonesia
 
 
On 28 December 2020, Indonesian Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC) notified that Double Helix Tracking Technologies has been appointed to perform Chain of Custody (CoC) Certification against the PEFC/IFCC ST 2002:2013 standard in Indonesia. Also, as the CertiSource Legality Assurance System (CLAS) is ceasing operation in Indonesia on 21st January, and as DoubleHelix is now accredited to offer PEFC Certification there, all existing customers are being notified and advised of alternative schemes, including PEFC Controlled Sources, as well as the IFCC-KSK Forest Management certification scheme. Read all about it.
 
Celebrating 40 Years of Transforming Lives on PEFC Paper
 
 
PEFC has its stamp on the long-awaited 40th anniversary commemorative book for the Lions Home for the Elders, the leading seniors care home charity in Singapore. After an 18-month journey, with troublesome delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, the hard cover 100-page well-illustrated coffee table book appeared. Like his earlier book, “Race for Sustainability”, author Ken Hickson insisted this should be printed on PEFC-certified paper. Thanks to the co-operation of Times Printers and OVOL (formerly Spicers), who ensured that the best papers were available - Gold East from APP and Paperone from April – the book was delivered before the end of 2020. Go to SASA for more.
 
If you need more information on any of the items above, or any other work by PEFC in Asia Pacific, feel free to contact:
Or go to PEFC International: www.pefc.org
 
 
 
 

Media News Bulletin from PEFC Asia Pacific December 2020

Webinar: Building a Better Future with Certified Timber
 
 
As countries throughout Asia Pacific - and around the world - aim for net zero carbon emissions, the global construction sector has a key role to play, as buildings account for 39% of global emissions of CO2. PEFC believes that building with low carbon certified timber is a key part of the solution, so its webinar on 16 December on “Building a better future with certified timber” will help all participants better understand how timber construction supports climate mitigation, along with other global sustainability targets. Alongside Paul Jarquin, President and founder of REI Habitat and Mark Thomson, architect and Director of Eco-Effective Solutions, is Mark Wayne Probert from Binderholz, who will go through the manufacturing journey, from PEFC-certified forests to innovative mass engineered timber (MET). Read more & register here
 
Malaysia Sees Biggest Increase in Certified Forest Areas
 
 
A Gold medal was awarded to the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) for achieving the biggest increase in PEFC-certified forest area in 2020 – the best in the world - with over 950,000 hectares in 10 forest management units in Johor, Sabah and Sarawak. With PEFC's 25th General Assembly held virtually for the very first time, the Awards ceremony went online too. More than 100 representatives called in from all over the world to learn that Asian member countries won the top three PEFC awards for 2020. For top prize winner Malaysia, this represented an annual increase of over 20%, taking the PEFC-certified forest area in Malaysia to over 5.2 million hectares. Read all about it.
 
Going from Zero to 450,000 Hectares Wins Silver for India
 
 
Asia was the big winner in the global 2020 PEFC awards, with second place going the Network for Certification and Conservation of Forests (NCCF), the PEFC member for India. This award was particularly special, as the increase of 450,000 hectares represented the first PEFC-certified forest area in the country – this time last year, there were no certified hectares. Apart from certified forest areas, NCCF currently has 33+ PEFC-certified wood based brands under chain of custody certification. Read more.
 
Korea Grows Forests by 150% to win Bronze PEFC Award
 
 
Bronze position in the PEFC awards went to the Korea Forest Certificate Council (KFCC) for growing their certified forest area by more than 150%, up to 706,000 hectares. Korea achieved their first PEFC-certified forest area in 2019. In a country where 65% of the national area is made up of forests, "sustainably managed forests in Korea are essential and have a very important meaning,” said Ahn Kyu Hwan, Head of Project and Development at KFCC, as well as the Korea Forestry Promotion Institute (KOFPI). “In the future, KOFPI will continue to cooperate with PEFC to contribute further to the sustainability of domestic forests. There's more
 
Recognition for 10 Years on PEFC International Board
 
 
After ten years on the PEFC International Board of Directors and two years as vice Chair, Genevieve Chua steps down with these words to say about her experience: “Over the years, I have seen with great pride and satisfaction how PEFC has grown in size and recognition. We don't have it easy and have numerous challenges, yet we punch above our weight.” As head of OVOL (formerly Spicers) in Singapore - one of the largest paper companies in the world - she will continue to promote certified paper and printing. Read more.
 
Indonesia Wins "Experience Forests" Global Photo Prize
 
 
Indonesian amateur photographer Keril Chairil beat 8000 other entries from 12 countries to win the 2020 “Experience Forests, Experience PEFC” contest. His award-winning image ‘Morning Activities’, was taken at Situ Gunung Lake in West Java, Indonesia, capturing the magical atmosphere at a forest lake in the early morning. Chairil hopes his win encourages more to be aware of the beauty of the forest and respect for the environment surrounding them. This winning image will help promote Indonesia Forestry Certification Cooperation (IFCC) and how it promotes sustainable forest management in Indonesia. Go here for more
 
Setting Sustainable Goals Despite Pandemic Disruptions
 
 
While the pandemic has disrupted progress on implementing Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Asia Pacific Resources International Limited (APRIL) Group - PEFC International Stakeholder member - has reinforced its commitments to achieve sustainable business growth, as well as to bolster the government’s endeavours to achieve the SDGs’ targets. The sustainable fibre and bio-based products producer has released “APRIL2030”, a transformative sustainable commitment that contains a series of tangible actions that are expected to make positive contributions to the climate, nature and the development of people. Read the full report in the Jakarta Post
 
Sweet Spot for PEFC on Confectionery Products in Japan
 
 
Glico - one of the Japan’s leading confectionery and beverage businesses - decided to use PEFC certified paper with its logo mark on more than 300 million packages a year for their products, including Mild Cafe au lait, its beverage for infants. While it was difficult to find space on some products, with the cooperation of related parties, the PEFC logo mark is successfully incorporated “under the roof” of the package. To express gratitude for Glico’s decision, Sustainable Green Ecosystem Council (SGEC) - representing PEFC in Japan - presented a certificate of appreciation to the company. Read More
 
APP Sponsors LOO Awards to Advance Certified Paper
 
 
Following the successful launch of the LOO (Let's Observe Ourselves) Campaign in 2008, the Restroom Association (Singapore) or RAS, further reinforces its four pronged approach by initiating the LOO Awards, sponsored by Asia Pulp and Paper (APP). This recognises any organisations and individuals who have contributed to help Singapore achieve a world recognised standard of restroom cleanliness. Here's more on The Loo Awards are here
 
UPM, Operating in 10 Asia Pacific Countries, Joins PEFC
 
 
“We look forward to joining PEFC to further strengthen our role in promoting sustainable forest management globally,” said Inka Musta, Senior Manager, Global Forest Affairs at UPM, our new international stakeholder member. UPM, headquartered in Finland, owns 770,000 hectares of PEFC certified forests and operates throughout the world, including in 10 Asia Pacific countries. Pictured is UPM's Changshu mill in China. The 25th PEFC General Assembly, the first one to ever be held virtually, has welcomed two new country members: Turkey, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Read all about it.
 
Collaborative Projects for Smallholder Rubber Producers
 
 
CEO Ben Gunneberg presented at the Global Platform for Sustainable Natural Rubber (GPSNR) webinar in November, elaborating on PEFC’s approach to standard-setting and certification. He also showcased some of the current collaborative projects with their national members and companies to support smallholder rubber producers, and how these will benefit all GPSNR members and the work of the global platform which is based in Singapore. Southeast Asian countries account for 97% of global natural rubber production. Listen in to what Ben Gunneberg has to say.
 
 
If you need more information on any of the items above, or any other work by PEFC in Asia Pacific, feel free to contact:
Or go to PEFC International: www.pefc.org
 

PEFC Webinar: Building a better future with certified timber

Countries around the world are aiming for net zero carbon emissions by 2050 as a response to the Paris Agreement to keep global temperature rise below 2 degrees Celsius. The global construction sector has a key role to play in achieving net zero, and PEFC believes that building with low carbon certified timber is a key part of the solution.

Join our PEFC Webinar: Building a better future with certified timber to learn how timber construction supports climate mitigation and other global sustainability targets, and the important role that PEFC certification plays. The webinar is free to attend and takes place 16 December at 11:00-12:00 CET. Register now.

We will be joined by three experts in the field of sustainable construction and strong advocates of timber as a building material:

Mark Wayne Probert from Binderholz will take us through the manufacturing journey, from sustainably managed forests to innovative mass engineered timber (MET) technology. Highlighting why the use of PEFC-certified timber is so important to the company, and showcasing MET projects.

Paul Jarquin, President and founder of REI Habitat, the first property developer in France to become PEFC certified, will focus in on the situation and opportunities in France. With the French government mandating that all new public buildings will be built from at least 50% timber or other natural materials, France is leading the world.

Finally, Mark Thomson, architect and Director of Eco-Effective Solutions, will focus in on why architects should be specifying certified timber. He’ll explain the inherent properties of timber in building, from their role in climate change mitigation, to their aesthetics.

Please note that the webinar will be in English, and you need to register in advance in order to receive the link. 

Spaces are limited – register for free now!

Why should you attend?

This webinar will provide you with a solid background on the sustainability wins for timber construction. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the social, environmental and economic benefits of designing and building with certified timber. 

Our expert speakers will share with you a range of innovative projects, illustrating the numerous and varied advantages that building with certified timber brings.

Finally, the webinar will demonstrate why sourcing and building with certified timber is so critical, and how PEFC certification provides assurances of responsible sourcing.

Don't delay – register now!

Who should attend?

While everyone is welcome, the webinar will be of particular interest to those working in the construction sector – whether you are already using timber, or are interested in finding out more about the sustainability advantages of timber construction.

From architects, specifiers and developers, to structural engineers, contractors, house builders and the timber supply chain, join us to learn how together we can build a better future with responsibly-sourced timber.

Register now!

Source: https://www.pefc.org/news/pefc-webinar-building-a-better-future-with-certified-timber