Press Release for Third Party Certification Launching
|Reference:||Soft Launching of MFCC’s 3rd Party Certification System|
|Location:||Inya Lake Hotel, Yangon, Myanmar|
|Date:||8th August 2018|
Myanmar Forest Certification Committee (MFCC) formally launched Myanmar’s third party timber certification system 8th August 2018. Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Conservation (MONREC) Permanent Secretary Mr Khin Mg Yi opened the launching. He started by pointing out that Myanmar had a long established and successful history of forest and timber management and related laws. The Permanent Secretary stressed that in parallel with ‘democratically people-centred political, economic and social reform’ Myanmar has been conducting forest sector reforms to conserve forest resources. He welcomed MFCC’s important contribution and noted that third party timber certification bodies are critical actors to ensure Myanmar timber products can be accepted by international markets.
Richard Laity, PEFC Development Officer South East Asia, offered some opening remarks. He noted that MFCC developed the system through a multi-stakeholder approach. He also covered a key aspect of forest product certification as being particularly advantageous in terms of it being market focused and offering an increased opportunity for and access to international markets and trade for Myanmar. Richard highlighted that “thanks to the Prince Albert II Foundation [project donors], MFCC and PEFC have been able to cooperate to build and implement this step-wise approach to building Sustainable Forest Management for Myanmar’s forests”.
MFCC conducted the Certification handing ceremony to the four notified Certification Bodies: United Forestry Services, Nature Watch, Myanmar Forest Association and Double Helix Tracking Technologies.
The launching continued with the MFCC Secretariat presenting on progress over the past year, an introduction of the MFCC System and the structure and processes for the implementation of the system. Afterward MFCC introduced its new website www.mfcc.org.mm
And then the morning session ended with a lively round of questions and answers and open discussion. One key question that arose from the discussions related to the complaints, appeals and disputes (CAD) procedures. MFCC stressed that this system was now active with a dedicated policy and procedure available online. It was also pointed out that a compulsory requirement for Certification Body notification is that they also have their own operational CAD procedures. Alex Karnsund a timber trader from Sweden (Karnsund Wood Link AB) enthusiastically welcomed the launching of the system and said it was a critical contribution to meeting EU due diligence requirements. Alex stressed that his company was keen to “do everything to support the work MFCC has been doing”.
And then Certification Bodies presented their profiles and availability to verify timber against MFCC Standards, along with questions and answers. The afternoon sessions then moved onto cover the application procedures and the main requirements for Certification Bodies with a final open discussions and feedback session.
Finally the launching finished with closing remarks from the MFCC Chairman Mr. Shwe Kyaw. After expressing his thanks on behalf of MFCC, the Chairman said that this launching was a very important step for MFCC and to audit the timber against a robust system for wider acceptance on the international market. Moreover MFCC aims to operate against international best practices and standards.
After that the Chairman finished by asking attendees to view the MFCC website and to share the news of the launching widely. MFCC welcomed continual feedback to improve, and also expressed MFCC’s commitment to provide continual and sustained support in making the system a success and delivering SFM to Myanmar’s forests.