Period: 3 July 2005 - 17 March 2005. Country: Malaysia
(1) Forest Certification and Local Communities in Malaysia
NAITO Daisuke  (Division of Southeast Asian Area Studies)
Key Words: Malaysia, Forest Certification, Sustainable Forest Management, Local Communities, Subsistence Activities

Log management checked at log yard [ Perak 2006]
Blowpipe hunting at patch forests among rubber plantations [Negeri Sembilan 2004]
(2) Forest certification uses a standardized set of tools both to evaluate whether sustainable management is being carried out in a forest and to promote sustainable forest management. Malaysia has implemented forest certification schemes and has become a leader among tropical countries where forest certification has been progressively introduced. In my dissertation, I would like to study the forest certification schemes and their impact on local communities.

(3) Fieldwork was conducted from July 2005 to March 2006 in Kuala Lumpur, Negeri Sembilan and so on. Interviews and participatory observations were carried out on:

  1.  Forest certification: The forest certification schemes are currently operated by two organizations: the Malaysia Timber Certification Council (MTCC) and the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC). I followed the annual surveillance visit of the FSC’s certified forest, about 10,000 ha of natural forest in northern Perak and learned the process involved in carrying out the audit necessary for certification.
  2. Local communities’ relations with the forest: In Negeri Sembilan, as a result of the development of the rubber and oil palm plantations, the forests, which were subsistence zones for local communities, were divided into forest reserves far from the village, and patch forests, which are scattered amongst the rubber and oil palm plantations.
              Field work with local communities shows that hunting is done in the afternoons of weekdays and holidays since people have work on weekdays. The patch forests near the village are frequently used for casual hunting and gathering. People usually hunt with blowpipes for leaf monkeys and squirrels. Forest reserves are important as a place for hunting a wider variety of animals. They are also a place for collecting forest products such as resins for ritual ceremonies, food, and dart poison, all of which are very difficult to find in patch forests.

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