We refer to the suggestion by the European Union (EU) to ban palm oil-based biofuels by 2030 with regards to the Renewable Energy Directive revision.
Banning palm oil-based biofuels will bring devastating effects to Malaysia. At least 650,000 small farmers in the country are expected to suffer adverse consequences from this.
It is untrue that the practice of palm oil plantation in Malaysia is against internationally accepted standards as the country’s plantations are committed to environmentally sustainable practices.
Malaysia has been a strong advocate for the conservation and maintenance of our environment and natural habitat. This is evident in our commitment to the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit where we pledged to preserve at least 50% of our forests, by preserving at least 55.52% of our rainforest.
Moreover, Malaysia has maintained a good track record for protecting the environment and implementing measures to protect its biodiversity.
The rate of forest retention in Malaysia is much higher than most European countries such as France, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom. According to research by the World Bank, Malaysia’s forest cover is three times higher than that of Belgium.
The palm oil industry in Malaysia is supervised and regulated by over 60 laws and regulations. Among them are the Land Acquisition Act 1960, the National Land Code 1965 and the Land Conservation Act 1960.
Based on Malaysia’s strictly regulated laws and best practices, it is evident that Malaysia remains committed to participating in the palm oil industry in an environmentally sustainable manner.
The writer is an advocate for Planters United.
The views expressed here are those of the author/contributor and do not necessarily represent the views of Malaysiakini.