Certifying Borneo's Forest Landscape: Implementation Processes of Forest Certification in Sarawak

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Sarawak has a history of imposing political constraints on natural resource governance. Forest certification is expected to bring important changes to forestry in Sarawak, heralding a new era of forest management. However, the effects of a new environmental regulatory system have yet to be adequately examined, particularly the social consequences of certification which vary depending on the standards employed, audit procedures and the levels of stakeholder participation. This chapter examines experiences to date with forest certification in Malaysia, specifically certification by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) in Sarawak, to investigate the effects of certification on both forest management and rural communities. It is therefore important to focus attention on issues related to both indigenous peoples’ land and natural resources use. The example of Malaysia and the divergent experiences in different states illustrates that the situation on the ground can vary greatly, even with the same forest certification scheme and within the same country.

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