REDD PLUS GOVERNANCE
Under the Federal Constitution, land matters are under the jurisdiction of the respective state governments that enact laws and regulations for forest management. However, the coordination of policies between the Federal and State Governments in respect of forest management, particularly to ensure sustainable forest management is facilitated through the National Land Council (NLC).
The National Forestry Act 1984, Sabah Forest Enactment 1968 and Sarawak’s Forests Ordinance Cap 126 are laws which augment sustainable forest management. Forest policies in Malaysia aims to achieve a comprehensive approach that addresses in greater depth the requirements for sustainable management, development, conservation, and control of the resources to fulfil the needs of people, industry, and the protection of the environment.
Malaysia’s Sustainable Forest Management
Malaysian forests have been subjected to a voluntary independent assessment of forest management practices by both the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) and the Malaysian Timber Certification Scheme (MTCS) of the Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTC). This is done to ensure the sustainable management of Malaysia’s forest. The audits are conducted every five years by an independent certification body (CB) external to both Councils.
REDD Plus Governance Structure
Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC), through its dedicated REDD Plus Unit (URP) leads and coordinates all elements of REDD Plus to ensure smooth function of the mechanism. Currently, the structure of the REDD Plus Unit is as follows:
National Steering Committee
The National Steering Committee (NSC) on REDD Plus provides key guidance and monitors REDD Plus implementation in Malaysia. It is chaired by the Secretary General of the Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment and Climate Change (NRECC), with membership from state economic planning units, forestry departments, relevant federal ministries as well as non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and civil society organisations (CSOs).
National Technical Committee
The National Technical Committee (NTC) on REDD Plus supports the NSC, in that it provides methodological guidance on REDD Plus implementation and formulates national action plans, supported by several working groups. It is chaired by the Deputy Secretary General (Natural Resources) of NRECC. The NTC also coordinates and oversees the work of three working groups which are responsible for the key elements of REDD Plus implementation. These include:
The Safeguards Working Group – responsible for the content of the safeguards as well as preparing periodic Safeguards Summary reports.
The LULUCF Working Group – responsible for preparing relevant reports in accordance with the principles of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) as well as coordinating greenhouse gas inventory for the LULUCF (land use, land use change, forestry) sector.
The Finance Working Group – responsible for ensuring that verified results in reducing emissions in line with REDD Plus requirements are compensated with the correct payment.