FSC APAC Business Forum Speaker Series #2: 60s with…Musa Salleh, Senior Planning Officer (Policy and Legislation), Sabah Forestry Department

The Sabah Forestry Department(SFD) has the first FSC certified forest in Asia Pacific and has been a great example of balancing conservation and production in tropical forests. Musa Salleh, a veteran of SFD who is going to speak in the “Creating Value Chains in Tropical Timber” session, talks about the long-established relationship with FSC and SFD and how certification has helped improve the forest management. 

How is FSC Related to Sabah Forestry Department?
Sabah Forestry Department is committed to certifying all of its forest reserves, in stages. Currently, a total of 860,519 hectares of the Sabah’s forests had been certified. This includes 629,015 hectares (73%) under FSC and the rest are other schemes. In this regard, Sabah can be considered as the largest FSC Forest Management (FM) certificate holder in Malaysia.

Initiatives toward FSC certification in Sabah were started with the establishment of a model of a well-managed forest in Deramakot Forest Reserve (DFR) in 1989, through the Malaysian-German Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Project. This project had provided a strong platform and training ground for FSC certification. As a result, the DFR was successfully certified under FSC in July 1997. It is the first and the oldest FSC certified tropical forest in the world.

In your opinion, what are the most important attributes that FSC brings to the tropical timber value chains? 
We believe that certification can bring continuous improvement to forest management as the certified areas are subject to be audited by independent auditors. Having certification also allows us to have a larger stakeholder participation which can bring more people on board to enhance the transparency and credibility in managing the FM areas.
As well, our experience on the marketing for Deramakot Forest Reserve’s FSC-certified timber products produced reveals that having FSC certification can improve market access and better prices – though we acknowledge that the so-called “premium” doesn’t always exist because the pricing is mostly market driven.

Can you give us a sneak peek at what you’re going to share for your presentation? 
I’d like to share our experience on how strong political support is vital to make forest certification possible. In the case of Sabah, the State Government shows a strong leadership role in the drive for forest certification, since we’ve adopted the SFM policy in 1997.
I’d also like to talk about applying institutional framework to forest certification, and use the Deramakot Forest Reserve as case study, on how FSC scheme has helped us successfully promoting good forest governance and enhancing transparency in managing forest resources from the social, environment and economy well-being perspectives of the state.

Meet Musa and other speakers in our FSC APAC Business Forum on 25-26 Sept 2018.

Registration for international applicants will be closed on 10 Sept(Mon) and local applicants on 17 Sept(Mon). Don’t miss out on this opportunity if you are FSC Certificate Holders or Commercial Trademark Service Licensees!