Reinhold Glauner, Ulrich Bick:
Development of Adequate and Reliable Certification Schemes Concerning the Import and Use of Tropical Timber for the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg


Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Institute for World Forestry, Germany

The achievement of sustainable forest management (SFM) is a process and the forest management certification is an effective tool to assess progress towards implementation of SFM. The Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (HH) is currently implementing a policy to restrict the import and public use of tropical timber to material that has been certified under internationally accepted certification schemes. A first step towards implementation of this policy is the evaluation of existing certifications schemes as well as the definition the specific requirements of HH concerning SFM. One of the schemes assessed is the system operated by the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC). MTCC is an independent organisation established to develop and operate a voluntary national certification scheme in Malaysia. The current MTCC scheme is based on the 1998 ITTO Criteria and Indicators for SFM. MTCC started operation in October 2001 using a phase approach. In October 2002 the standard has been revised and the present draft corresponds to the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) principles.

Based on discussions between MTCC and HH in 2003 a joint project is launched in 2004. The main objective is to provide scientific support for the refinement of the new standards -- particularly in field tests -- to ensure its practical application and to close identified gaps, especially on the Indicator/Verifier levels. Within a time frame of two years, German and Malaysian forestry and certification specialists co-operate with relevant organisations (environmental, social) in Malaysia. The project is jointly funded by MTTC, HH, German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), and the German Timber Federation (GHD).

After the final elaboration of the new standards and implementation in the certification scheme the HH will accept certificates issued by certifiers accredited by MTTC.

Keywords: Development of certification scheme, Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, import and use of tropical timber, Malaysian Timber Certification Council, sustainable forest management


Contact Address: Ulrich Bick, Federal Research Centre for Forestry and Forest Products, Institute for World ForestyLeuschnerstraße 91, Hamburg, Germany, e-mail:
Andreas Deininger, September 2004