KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 2 ― The Malaysian Timber Certification Council said logging in Kelantan has not been checked since March after it suspended auditing due to failure by the state authorities and loggers to follow international standards for forest management.
As a result, all logs originating from Kelantan after March were not certified under the international Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification that made it harder for such logs to be exported to other countries, The Sunday Star reported today.
A council spokesman reportedly said that logging activities are still considered legal even without certification as long as the state government issues a permit.
The certification system is reportedly vital for due diligence in logging to minimise environmental, safety and social impacts to the forest.
The newspaper reported that the Lojing Highlands in Gua Musang, Kelantan, is a major disaster waiting to happen due to massive land clearing. The highlands has reportedly lost half of its forest cover, endangering the Orang Asli settlement and the rare Rafflesia flower.
Lojing received media attention after a violent clash between the Orang Asli and loggers last Wednesday.