Environmental Concerns, Latest Trends Top Agenda

THE sustainability efforts of the palm oil industry have stirred so much public interest globally that it is important for industry stakeholders to keep abreast of latest developments and technologies.

The second International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference 2010 (IPOSC 2010) to be held in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, from Sunday to Tuesday, promises to do just that and is expected to attract a bigger crowd than its inaugural event held two years ago.

Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) chief executive officer Tan Sri Yusof Basiron said latest palm oil production trends and environmental concerns will be the main focus apart for the ongoing problems and issues besetting the industry.

“We have to also review the success of sustainability efforts with regards to greenhouse gases (GHG), deforestation, habitat loss, biodiversity, orang utan and wildlife,” he said in an interview in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.

Major issues that will be highlighted include Life Cycle Assessment, carbon footprint, sustainable production, certification and branding, biodiversity conservation and the corporate social responsibility of the palm oil industry.

MPOC has also extended invitations to several international environment NGOs to participate.

To be opened by Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Tan Sri Bernard G. Dompok, IPOSC 2010 will also see MPOC partnering the Sabah State Wildlife Department and Shangri-La Rasa Ria Resort in setting up a Sabah Wildlife Rescue programme.

MPOC is involved in several other wildlife conservation efforts, including jungle patrols and wildlife studies.

One of the challenges facing the palm oil industry is how it measures up against the new international standards and directives and the European Union’s Renewable Energy Directive (RED) is one which is being hotly debated by both Malaysia and Indonesia.

European policies towards palm oil and its discriminatory approach towards non-EU producers of biofuels will be analysed by European researchers. They will also speak about how plam oil measures up against the RED.

On his part, Yusof will be comparing GHG emission impact from the coal mining industry in developed countries versus oil palm cultivation in developing countries.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Board will highlight the current advances in achieving high yield of palm oil.

Latest palm-sourced biomass waste and sustainable energy solutions and its role as a renewable green energy for the future will also be highlighted.

The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) will also speak about meeting the challenges beyond 2010 as well as the pitfalls plantation companies can avoid in the RSPO certification process.

For more information on the conference, visit http://www.mpoc.org.my/

Source : Business Times

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