Board of Directors

The FSM Board of Directors consists of key representatives from the three regions in Malaysia (Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia).

The following individuals form the Board of Directors for the period 2014-2016:

Chairman

Dr Sundari Ramakrishna – WWF- Malaysia (FSC Organisation Member – Environmental South)

As Conservation Director of WWF-Malaysia, Sundari heads the 130-strong conservation department, covering marine, terrestrial, policy and education units. She oversees 90 conservation projects in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. The priority  regional conservation work of WWF-MY is in the Coral Triangle Ecoregion, Heart of Borneo and places in Malaysia that support elephant, rhino, orangutan and turtle populations. There is also a focus on market transformation of commodities such as timber, pulp & paper, palm oil and fisheries.

Sundari previously (1997  to 2006) led the Malaysia Office of Wetlands International as its Executive Director, and until recently (2007-2010) served as the Malaysian Environmental NGO Coordinator for the 20 member environmental NGO coalition, managing the secretariat and providing leadership. Sundari has a Ph.D. in Marine Microbiology from University of Malaya. She has 35 publications including papers in peer reviewed journals, contributed chapters in books, conference & seminar proceedings, guide books and manuals.

“Whatever you do in life, do it with utmost sincerity and be accountable for each of your actions.”

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Environmental Chamber

Mr Balu Perumal – Malaysian Nature Society (FSC Organisation Member – Environmental South)

Balu Perumal heads the conservation department at the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS), responsible for the forest, wetlands, marine and animal species programmes. MNS, established in 1940, is the oldest and largest membership-based environmental non-governmental organization in Malaysia. Its mission is to promote the research, appreciation, conservation and protection of Malaysia’s natural heritage.

Balu has a Master’s Degree in Plant and Fungal Taxonomy from the University of Reading, United Kingdom.  He has over 20 years of professional experience in natural resources management and environmental conservation in Malaysia and South-east Asia. He has previously worked with other environmental NGOs, namely WWF Malaysia, Wetlands International and Global Environment Centre. His key technical competences include managing conservation programmes/projects and facilitating collaborative efforts on forest conservation, forest certification and sustainability issues, with various stakeholders.

“Conservation is the vehicle for sustainability”

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Environmental Chamber

Ms Kanitha A/P Krishnasamy – Traffic Southeast Asia (FSC Individual Member – Environmental South)

Kanitha Krishnasamy possesses over 14 years of knowledge and expertise working in the conservation field. Currently leading TRAFFIC Southeast Asia’s technical programme on the region’s most critically threatened species, Kanitha’s wealth of knowledge on wildlife, trade and regional conservation policy informs not only the organisation’s work but its advice to agencies on monitoring and tackling wildlife trafficking. She designs, develops and implements TRAFFIC’s research and survey projects and is point person on regional issues regarding species in trade and its related policy and law enforcement support efforts. Among others, she manages TRAFFIC’s initiatives regarding trade involving a wide array of species including tigers, rhinos and elephants (ivory), pangolins and others threatened by trade in Southeast Asia; maintaining a close working relationship with relevant parties from the government and non-governmental sectors as part of TRAFFIC’s goal in finding solutions to illegal wildlife trade.

Prior to joining the TRAFFIC Southeast Asia team, Kanitha worked with the Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) for seven years, after which she served on its Board for two years  - the MNS is Malaysia’s largest membership-based conservation NGO that has a strong support base throughout the country. While at MNS, she helmed its Policy Unit for six years, leading its forest and conservation policy and multilateral environmental agreement developments, primarily with regard to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and the Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. She lead the development and implementation of the MNS’ site and habitat management programmes including a nationwide campaign to protect one of Malaysia’s last frontiers for tigers, elephants and other wildlife. Kanitha was central in furthering MNS’ forest management and certification programmes and is part of the team that initiated the development of Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) National Standards for forest certification in Malaysia. Kanitha holds a Bachelors Degree in International Tropical Forest Management.

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Social Chamber

Raymond Abin Bira – SCANE Network (FSC Individual Member – Social South)

A long-time social activist in Sarawak, Raymond is currently the Director cum National Coordinator of the Sarawak Conservation Alliance for Natural Environment (SCANE) Network, a leading indigenous-based organization working to enhance local conservation initiatives throughout Sarawak. He has a Bachelor in Environmental Engineering from the Russian Kurst State Technical University.  SCANE fosters community development and self-reliance; builds collaborative strategies and networks; and disseminates environmental awareness to groups and communities throughout Sarawak.

In late 1980s, he joined Friends of the Earth Malaysia to lead local campaigns to save Borneo’s pristine rainforest and ensure the survival of forest dependent indigenous communities from unsustainable extractive industries in Sarawak. In 1993, he established the Borneo Resources Institute Malaysia (BRIMAS) one of the well-respected environmental and human rights organizations in Malaysia. Since then, BRIMAS has been in the forefront of indigenous peoples struggles, particularly on issues of native customary rights (NCR) land in Sarawak. Raymond also helps communities with legal action in defense of NCR lands and human rights abuses, working closely with a team of indigenous rights lawyers in Sarawak.

“Our natural environment needs us. Speak up! for it cannot speak for itself”.

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Dr. Agnes Lee Agama – Independent Expert (FSC Individual Member – Social South)

Agnes is a self-employed consultant with over 15 years of experience in people and protected areas issues in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Previously, she has worked for the Global Diversity Foundation, WWF Malaysia and held professional consulting assignments to facilitate multi-agency projects related to integrated protected area management, access and benefit sharing, capacity building and participatory resource monitoring, conservation education and outreach. Her expertise is in consultation and engagement for co-management of terrestrial protected areas, specifically in supporting community forest conservation, participatory action research for integrated forest and land-use planning, and participatory project planning, design and formulation.

Agnes received a BArts Hons. degree with a double major in Social Psychology and Anthropology from the Australian National University in 1997, and a PhD in Environmental Anthropology from the University of Kent, UK, in 2004.  Her research interests focus on the transformations of local people who live alongside, or within, protected areas.

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Lim Si Siew – Grassroots  (FSC Individual Member – Social South)

Si Siew Lim is currently a partner of Grassroots, an ethical consulting and social enterprise with expertise and experience in sustainable agriculture (mainly palm oil) as well as indigenous peoples, NGO, biodiversity and forestry issues. Since 2008, Grassroots has been actively documenting and reporting on the environmental and social impacts of the logging and palm oil industries on various indigenous groups and local communities in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia. Previously, he coordinated projects for the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (2004-2007), WWF-Malaysia (2002-2004) and the New York City Parks & Recreation Department (2000-2002). He holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Earth & Environmental Engineering from Columbia University, USA.

“It is my hope that Malaysia will have a credible set of FSC national standards by 2014 and with it, a more sustainable forestry sector where natural resources are safeguarded and local communities have an active voice.”

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Economic Chamber

Mr Tan Chin Tong – Independent expert (FSC Individual Member – Economic South)

Mr. Tan Chin Tong was instrumental in Perak Integrated Timber Complex (PITC) becoming the first FSC-certified forest concession in Peninsular Malaysia, where he held the position of CEO until late 2005. He has participated in the MC&I standard development process and the SCS Forest Conservation Program adaptation for Forest Management Certification in Malaysia. Currently, he is Director of several companies in Malaysia, China and Switzerland. Since his retirement from the corporate world, he continued to pursue his love for nature and passion for the social environmental cause. He also served on the Board of Trustees of Malaysian Timber Certification Council (MTCC) from 2007 to 2009, and serves as a Council member of Malaysian Nature Society (MNS) since 2007. He is a Mechatronics Engineer by training.

“Tropical forest ecosystem is highly complex and equally complex to manage, what more developing a standard to manage it.”

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Dr Kevin T. Grace – Global Forestry Services Group (FSC Organisation Member – Economic South)

Dr. Kevin T. Grace is the Managing Director for Global Forestry Services Group of companies (GFS) since June 2004. He has developed and managed the network of GFS companies and programs to support Forest Management, Forest Investment, Forest Carbon Credits, & Legality for Retail, Trading, Wood Processing Companies in Sabah (RIL/TLAS), China (FSC), Laos (Carbi Project-WWF& Timber Flow study Laos PDR on behalf of EFI), Ghana (development of the TLAS), Papua New Guinea, United Kingdom, Japan, Guyana and South East Asia.

He has a PhD in Agroforestry from University of Hawaii, USA. He was a Forestry Service Division Manager of SGS Malaysia and he is a Lead Auditor / Trainer for forest management & chain of custody based on the requirements of the QUALIFOR program accredited by FSC, Developed Certification Support Program as a stepwise auditing program for forest certification and ISO 9000 Lead Auditor Training (1998).

“Invest in Forests – Money really does grow on trees.”

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Dariush Kahrobaei – MDK Asia Sdn. Bhd. / MDK Far East Pte. Ltd (FSC Organisation Member – Economic South)

Dariush Kahrobaei is the Managing Director of MDK Asia Sdn. Bhd., since 2003. MDK engages in the production of high quality wood-based products through manufacturing operations in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, China, Vietnam, Africa and Brazil. He joined FSC membership in 1999. His company has been very active in the sourcing of FSC materials and offering their clients all over the world with FSC finished products. As the Vice President of an associated company in 1995, he played the leading role in the FSC Chain of Custody certification of its manufacturing operations in Indonesia. It was also one of the first companies in Indonesia to become SA 8000 certified, which is a social certification standards to protect basic human rights for workers.

Dariush holds a Postgraduate Degree in Business Administration from Leicester University (United Kingdom) and a Bachelors in Business Administration from Wales Universtity (United Kingdom). Since 2009, Dariush has been the Committee Member of “Energy, Environment & Green Technology (EEGT)” belongs to the European Malaysian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (EUMCCI).

Today, his company exports a range of products made from compressed bamboo. He learned that compressed bamboos are stronger and more durable compared to most Tropical hardwood species. He is leading MDK towards sourcing for other materials alternative to wood that are environmentally friendly and sustainable.

“I support FSC as a sustainable working system that is supported and inclusive of NGO’s, WWF, Greenpeace, Indigenous Peoples’ Organisations and Labour Organizations.”