Radio Télévision Suisse is like Swiss Cheese: Full of Holes

Radio Télévision Suisse (RTS) is spreading lots of Fake News these days about Malaysia and Malaysian Palm Oil.  Their reporting is a lot like their famous cheese: full of holes!

Led by the famous Swiss YouTuber, “Le Grand JD” (we’ve never heard of him) and “journalist” Bernard Genier, they “investigate” alleged risk to tropical forest and indigenous people in Borneo – more precisely in Sarawak, Malaysia – from oil … Read More

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Branson Weighs in on Palm…and Fails

Richard Branson is a smart and successful businessman.

Part of his success has relied on brash, big initiatives. He is opportunistic when he needs to be. And simplifies things to hit the broadest market (otherwise known as the lowest common denominator).

Which is precisely why he shouldn’t talk about palm oil.

Sir Richard has taken to the Virgin Group’s website to lament forest loss and orang-utan loss in the Leuser Read More

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Tackling the Tackler: Norway’s Climate Stance

Norway, a global afterthought since hosting the Winter Olympic Games in 1994, is at it again.

The Norwegian environmental collaborators have kicked off their latest black campaign against Malaysian national interests, and it is aimed at hurting Malaysia’s 650,000 small farmers.

Norges Bank Investment Management (NBIM) stated in February that it has started an ethical dialogue with three Malaysian banks over their financing of palm oil operations.

NBIM is the … Read More

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Fact Checking the Fake News Media Hype on the Impending Extinction of Orang-utans

There has been widespread coverage in European media of a new “academic paper” by a German student that contains hyperbolic descriptions of the decline of orang-utan populations in Borneo. Media reports and NGOs have linked the research to oil palm cultivation and the use of palm oil in Western countries.

The timing of the report is deeply suspect. Palm oil producers have aggressively pushed back against Europe’s discriminatory attempt … Read More

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Is The UK Serious About ASEAN Trade Links?

The Malaysian Government is looking for allies against the EU Parliament’s plan to ban Palm Oil biofuels: will the UK support its South-East Asian friends?

On Wednesday 17th January, the EU Parliament voted through its position on the Renewable Energy Directive (RED). This included a provision to ban all Palm Oil biofuels in Europe, after 2021. Other oilseeds are allowed to continue operating: the ban is only aimed at … Read More

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COWI: Noting the Political Sensitivities

In our series of blogs on the COWI report assessing proposals to reduce deforestation, a clear underlying theme has been how the report ignores the political sensitivities that drive European policymaking. These politics are inextricably linked with how commodities are treated in Europe. In short, commodities from the developing world suffer and those from the rich world prosper under EU regulation. This has uncomfortable echoes of past colonial policies, designed Read More

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COWI’s Focus on Technical Assistance

The COWI report puts an emphasis on providing technical assistance to smallholders and farmers in developing countries in order to improve sustainability efforts and, where possible, reduce levels of deforestation and degradation.  This is arguably the strongest recommendation put forward by COWI.  But what should this kind of technical assistance actually look like?

There are several parts to this question.

The first is who should be paying for this from … Read More

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The Risks of (dis)information Campaigns

The European Commission recently proposed a number of policy measures aimed at tackling deforestation in developing countries. The EC commissioned a European consultancy, COWI, to assess the feasibility and effectiveness of these policies. One such policy was the idea of ‘awareness campaigns’. COWI considered this to be a feasible, low-risk strategy. In fact, the opposite is true.  These are simply disinformation campaigns funded by Europeans taxpayers for the benefit of … Read More

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Facts vs the European Parliament: COWI experts rebuke MEPs’ attacks on Palm Oil

In our ongoing look at the recent Report by COWI on deforestation proposals – a Report requested and funded by the EU Commission – we now look at how the Report uses data to analyse the default EU orthodoxy on Palm Oil – specifically the April MEP Resolution on Palm Oil & Deforestation.

The European Parliament’s Resolution raised the ire of the world’s Palm Oil exporting nations, mostly because the … Read More

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ICYMI: Malaysia Condemns European Parliament’s Latest Vote to Ban Palm Oil Biofuels

Malaysia will take every necessary action to protect Palm Oil sector and small farmers

Following the vote in the ITRE Committee of the European Parliament, which moves Europe one step closer to banning Palm Oil biofuels, Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong, issued a strongly worded statement stressing the Malaysian Government will take every necessary action required to protect the rights of Malaysia, the … Read More

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