FLEGT and Third Party TLAS Auditing

The Sabah Forestry Department (SFD), along with Sarawak and the Peninsular States are still in negotiations with the European Union (EU) regarding the FLEGT Voluntary Partnership Agreement on the subject of legality of timber production and Timber Legality Assurance System (TLAS)-based trade to the EU market. Implementation of FLEGT TLAS has begun since 2009 and commitment to comply with the proposed international EU agreements regarding the initiation and development of FLEGT was reflected through the proactive application of TLAS auditing in Sustainable Forest Management License Agreement (SFMLA) and Long Term in SFMLA and Long Term Agreement (LTL) areas throughout Sabah.

At the national level, SFD has been actively involved in the Joint Expert Meetings on FLEGT- VPA, headed by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (NRE). This meeting serves as a platform where the comments and responses of Malaysia and the EU regarding TLAS are systematically examined and discussed. Sabah has vigorously participated in the FLEGT-VPA negotiation and the progress thus far has been the formulation of auditing systems that are based on the evaluation and revision of the Sabah TLAS standard and Audit Checklist conducted by NepCon in 2014.