Malaysia: Mounting Pressure on Palm
Malaysian Palm interests are under pressure to justify GHG emission savings before the European Commission. The increased scrutiny comes in light of recent anti-palm oil campaigns by Greenpeace and other international NGOs that portray plantation companies as harbingers of deforestation and eradication of the orangutan.
The Malaysian Palm Oil Board has essentially countered that the EU’s Renewable Energy Directive is discriminatory against non-EU producers, while additionally attempting to dispel concerns of deforestation and habitat loss. According to GlobEcon director Dr. Gernot Penheit:
A change in the current EU policy is needed. There are tremendous development opportunities through sustainable development of the oil palm industry.
Recently, corporate giant Nestle buckled under sustained NGO attacks and announced a partnership with the Forest Trust to ensure that Nestle’s supply chain would not contribute to Malaysian deforestation. Pat Venditti, Greenpeace International Forest Campaign Head, indicated future corporate targets:
We are delighted that Nestle plans to give orang-utans a break and we count on other international retailers, such as Carrefour and Wal-mart, to do the same…Since the beginning of our campaign, hundreds of thousands of people have contacted Nestle to say that they will not buy products linked to rainforest destruction.
Dr. Penheit’s report entitled “European Policies towards Palm Oil – Sorting Out some Facts,” can be downloaded here.
This story originally appeared in the Malaysian Star.