by Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron
Source : The Wall Street Journal
Malaysia’s palm-oil industry often gets lumped in with problems elsewhere. But contrary to the claim of your article (“Firms Back a Plan to Put the Green in ‘Green Gold’,” Marketplace, Jan. 18) that there has been “widespread deforestation” in Malaysia in recent years, Malaysia’s years-long commitment to sustainability, minimizing carbon-dioxide emissions and adopting agricultural practices that conserve the rainforests and wildlife, has been a model for other countries. In fact, the major Malaysian producers of palm oil, in cooperation with the Malaysian government, have exhibited a strong commitment to zero-burning replanting techniques, protecting species such as orangutans, and the certification of palm oil from established, licensed plantations.
Every single oil palm-planted area is highly regulated and subjected to a number of Malaysian government legislations. These include the legislation that all oil-palm plantations and even small farms are on legitimate agricultural land that doesn’t involve recent deforestation of our precious rainforests.
Malaysia has even launched a Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund to further proposals to protect and enhance biodiversity.
Environmentally friendly, sustainable practices aren’t only good for the world, but they make good business sense. Malaysia can’t compete with other countries in available land, so the best way it can compete is through innovative and sustainable practices that take care of the land that is there, and to assure the end consumer that palm oil from Malaysia has been produced responsibly.
Tan Sri Datuk Dr Yusof Basiron
Chief Executive Office
Malaysian Palm Oil Council