Malaysia is fully committed to sustainable forest management and practices.
“I wish to emphasise that Malaysia is fully committed to the principle of sustainable forest management,” Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Adenan Satem told an international conference of sustainable management of tropical forests.
“Malaysia is highly forested although this may not be so obvious if you confine yourself to Kuala Lumpur,” he told the conference being attended by delegates from the Asia-Pacific, African, Latin American and the Carribean regions.
Adenan said almost 60 percent of Malaysia’s land mass of 32.8 million hectares was forested and the figure increased to 77 percent if rubber and oil palm were to be included.
He said Malaysia’s sustainable forest management practices had reached the level of confidence to be subjected to third party independent auditing for timber certification.
“Buyers of tropical timber around the world are demanding that the timber they buy is not a product of destructive logging. Timber certification gives them that assurance,” he added.
The three-day conference is focusing on the experiences of the private sector in implementing sustainable forest management.
Adenan noted that the role and efforts of the private sector in sustainable forest management were often misunderstood and not fully appreciated.
“The tropical forests are complex in nature. Their sustainable management with social, environment and economic dimensions are equally if not more complex,” he said.
“No wonder progress has been slow and often the private sector receives the brunt of the blame.”