In opening remarks before the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Colloquium (SWCC) yesterday, Minister for Plantation Industries and Commodities Bernard Dompok applauded efforts by the Government and private industry to preserve the country’s unparalleled biodiversity and natural endowments. And while acknowledging the success of these efforts, including the Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF), Minister Dompok stressed the inherent benefits of the oil palm in supporting conservation and contributing to greater preservation of forests.
“With less land needed to produce a tonne of oil, choosing palm oil as a preferred source of oils and fats, over the other vegetable oils, definitely reduces the pressure on global land use and possibly greenhouse gas emissions. It essentially means that Malaysia will be using a lot less land to produce edible oils in meeting the oils and fats requirements of the 7 billion people in the world, while at the same time contributing more towards global Green House Gas emission reduction.”
And Minister Dompok highlighted Malaysia’s leadership in the global conservation movement, including Malaysia’s participation in the Convention on Biological Diversity and the Rio Convention, where Malaysia exceeded commitments from industrialized countries with a promise to conserve more than 50% of the country’s forest cover. This follows a statement by the Ministry for Natural Resources and Environment dismissing criticism of orangutan treatment from a British environmental NGO against Malaysia’s Malacca Zoo as “baseless”.
The Minister’s comments were also supported by Sabah’s Minister of Tourism, Culture and Environment YB Datuk Masidi Manjun –
“… I want to think that the people of Sabah will have the imagination and the courage to find a better way to live with our wildlife. And I want all of you to help me forward this message throughout the World. Sabah will not see its flagship species disappear; Sabah will do everything to keep a safe environment for our wildlife and our children!”
With such strong commitments to protect Malaysia’s precious wildlife, orangutans, the pygmy elephant and many others, Malaysia’s and the palm oil industry’s conservation initiatives have rightly earned recognition for demonstrating harmony between development and conservation from which countries and industries throughout the world can learn.