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The Oil Palm

Sabah’s Director of Forestry on French TV5 Monde Answers Questions on Palm Oil

As part of its ongoing Q&A series, The Oil Palm has interviewed Datuk Sam Mannan, Sabah’s Director of Forestry and lifelong conservation expert. After joining the Sabah Forestry Department in 1980, Datuk Mannan has risen to become one of Malaysia’s most respected authorities on forestry related matters and an internationally acclaimed spokesperson on good forest management.

Recently, he has also featured in a documentary on palm oil, development and conservation broadcast by French TV station TV5 Monde. This recent documentary showcases Sabah’s commitment to pursuing the dual track of development and conservation, and highlights the oil palm’s significant contribution to this goal. In the documentary, Datuk Mannan notes the oil palm’s ‘vital contribution’ to the state’s conservation programs and he provides an overview of the strict laws and regulations on forest protection implemented in Sabah.

Similarly, in his exclusive video interview with The Oil Palm, Datuk Mannan explains that today, 60 per cent of Sabah is still under forest cover and income from forestry has declined from 90 per cent to 5 per cent of the state government’s revenue. Datuk Mannan explains that this achievement would not have been possible without revenue from oil palm cultivation, which has financed many of the state’s conservation efforts. He tells The Oil Palm how the oil palm, has become a substitute for revenue generation for the government of Sabah and has provided thousands of jobs and uplifted thousands of people from abject poverty.

Datuk Mannan also talks of the Great Ape Survival Project (GRASP), an orang-utan conservation initiative encompassing 300,000 hectares of forest surrounding Danum Valley. This area has been defined by the United Nations Environment Programme as a (model area for the conservation of Great Apes. Datuk Mannan believes that if the orangutan is to survive as a species on Earth, this has the highest likelihood of happening in Sabah.

In a world of limited resources, Datuk Mannan tells The Oil Palm that we must favor crops that offer the highest socio-economic return. The oil palm is such a crop. And the oil palm industry has an established track record of contributing, substantial amounts of money for conservation, forest restoration and wildlife management.

The boycott of palm oil advocated by some Western NGOs, will not help the environment, the NGOs, the government or the people; says Datuk Mannan. Removing such a competitive oil crop will negatively affect the livelihoods of millions of people in Malaysia and greater areas of land will have to be cleared to substitute for the oil palm’s superior productivity. As Datuk Mannan points out, conservation cannot take place without the financing of it. In Sabah, oil palm development and conservation efforts have taken place side by side. Today, oil palm development – on land reserved for agricultural production – continues to complement forest management and forest conservation, by financing the efforts being undertaken by agencies like the Forestry Department and the Wildlife Department.

Come and watch the full Q&A interview here and learn more about the oil palm’s contribution to conservation efforts in Sabah.

The documentary on palm oil featuring Sabah’s Director of Forestry, Datuk Sam Mannan, will also be broadcast again on TV5 Monde this Saturday at 11.45 AM. Don’t miss it!

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The Oil Palm

Red Palm Split Chicken

This week’s recipe brings a new twist to the traditional chicken breast. By using a Red Palm Oil and Spice paste to marinate the chicken, this every day dish is given a new flavor paired with vegetables makes for a great meal everyone can enjoy.

Ingredients

Two split chicken breasts

1 tbsp red palm oil

1 tbsp smoked paprika

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 shallot, thinly sliced

A sprinkle of salt and pepper

Directions

Preheat grill to medium-high heat.

Rinse breasts under cold water and pat dry with a paper towel.

In a small bowl, combine red palm oil and smoked paprika. Stir to make a paste.

Pour red palm and smoked paprika mixture over the chicken breasts, and rub to coat each breast evenly.

Carefully lift the skin from the breast, but do not remove completely.

Place the garlic and shallot under the skin, and cover with the skin.

Lightly sprinkle the skin of the chicken with sea salt and cracked black pepper.

Grill breasts 12-15 minutes on the bone side, and 5-7 minutes on the breast side. Chicken will be finished when the breast reaches an internal temperature of 170.

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The Oil Palm

The Consequences of Getting It Wrong

In September 2012, Kabeh Sumbo, a Liberian entrepreneur, participated in a panel discussion at the Clinton Global Initiative in New York City alongside her was President Ellen Johnson SirLeaf, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large Melanne Verveer and others.  The subject of the panel: the challenges facing women in the developing world.

Ms Sumbo offered a unique perspective as a woman that had to struggle to provide for her family until her establishment of a palm oil production and distribution business, made possible through micro financing. The same story could be told of men and women alike throughout Sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia, where the opportunities afforded through the burgeoning oil palm industry are reducing poverty and empowering communities. In Malaysia alone, the poverty rate in the country has fallen from 50 per cent to less than 5 per cent alongside the growth of the industry.

But despite the Clinton Global Initiative’s (CGI) promotion of success stories such as Ms Sumbo’s, the organization is promoting efforts denigrating the palm oil industry and promoting mythical alternatives as a replacement for palm oil – and which present potential harm to the health of consumers.

In a report commissioned and supported by the CGI, the international consultancy AT Kearney argues schizophrenically in favor of replacing palm oil demand with alternative vegetable oils to meet the world’s ever growing demand for oils and fats. But in its zeal to promote the novel and unknown, AT Kearney ignores the real life consequences of their claims and suggestions.

1. Alternative oils are an unproven food source.

Despite AT Kearney’s projections that alternative oils may be a “game changer” for food production systems, no evidence supports their claims. Indeed, research on algal oils has so far been limited to meeting energy and consumer good needs. And there is no reason to believe that algal could be better replacements of palm oil than existing vegetable oils, whose processing to achieve characteristics similar to palm oil have led to significant health problems such as trans fats.

And with projections of demand for vegetable oils doubling by 2021 due to population growth and increased demand in the developing world, reliance on unproven food sources rather than expanding existing systems such as oil palm plantations will have disastrous consequences for global food security.

In contrast, Malaysian researchers are actively developing new oil palm trees with yields 90 per cent greater than current advanced strains, demonstrating an important step in meeting future demand with less land.

2. Saturated fats are not harmful, and are actually critical to a balanced and healthy diet.

Unfortunately, AT Kearney perpetuates the tired and inaccurate claim that saturated fats are harmful, the result of a 60 year old myth that has been perpetuated by interested parties and poor science. Saturated fats are a vital part of the human diet, supporting absorption of nutrients into cells and excreting waste from said cells. And saturated fats are absorbed less efficiently than unsaturated fats, reducing caloric absorption by 20-30 percent.

In one of the most comprehensive assessments of the impact of saturated fats on the human diet and its alleged association to cardiovascular disease, the relationship was disproven. In a 2010 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, researchers concluded, “…there is no significant evidence for concluding that dietary saturated fat is associated with an increased risk of CHD or CVD.”

3. Palm oil contains healthy micronutrients necessary for a healthy and balanced diet.

Palm oil is not just a basic vegetable oil upon which much of the world relies, but also an important source of micronutrients for general consumption and bio-pharmaceutical needs. Palm oil in its raw form is rich in beta-carotene, a precursor to Vitamin A, and tocotrienols, the most significant and efficient source for Vitamin E.

Red palm oil contains 15 times more beta-carotene than carrots and 300 times more than tomatoes, making it an ideal source for the rich anti-oxidant. And with more than 8-10 million children throughout the world suffering from Vitamin A deficiency, and 250,000 children a year dying from the deficiency, increasing access to Vitamin A should be a global health priority.

And palm oil tocotrienols have been associated with numerous health benefits, including reduced incidence of arthrosclerosis, protecting against long-term damage from strokes and combatting cancer. A miracle nutrient, tocotrienols are driving a more than USD 600 million bio-pharmaceutical sector in Malaysia due to demand throughout the world. Tocotrienols are being studied as a tool for treating breast and prostate cancer.

4. Oil palm development has reduced poverty and continues to offer means for social advancement and hunger eradication throughout the developing world – which alternative oils do not offer.

Palm oil production has been one of the greatest poverty alleviators in the world, providing employment for small farmers and high skilled workers alike, and driving development throughout the developing world. In Malaysia, more than 570,000 people are directly employed by the sector and small farmers account for 40 per cent of palm oil production in the country.

In Africa, the share of small farmers contributing to palm oil output is even higher, with more than 1 million farmers in Nigeria and numerous small farmer initiatives throughout the continent. These efforts have been supported by the International Fund for Agriculture Development (IFAD) and the World Bank has noted that agriculture development through sectors such as the oil palm industry are three times more effective at reducing poverty than any other sector.

While Ms Sumbo’s story as told at the CGI event in September 2012 was taken as a unique accomplishment, millions of other participants both within and on the periphery of the palm oil sector have similar stories to share.

No alternative oils offer a similar narrative, and in fact reflect a direct threat to the livelihoods of billions of people in communities throughout the developing world who cannot afford the significant infrastructure costs associated with such alternative oil sources such as algae.

Alternative oils certainly offer an opportunity that governments and industry should explore to meet niche demands, as the sector is already doing. They offer a diversified source of lipids and by-products, and offer an opportunity to further reduce GHG emissions as exemplified by Malaysia’s carbon negative oil palm sector.

But AT Kearney’s projection that alternative oils can and should replace palm oil reflects the most irresponsible and damaging of suggestions not just for the future of alternative energy, but most importantly, long term food security and consumer health. Look no further than the acknowledgement in their own report:

“These emerging technologies, which are not yet commercially available and whose technical feasibility in many cases is yet to be proved, will almost certainly be the next generation of oils.”

Their claims of alternative oils as a panacea to the challenge of meeting ever greater vegetable oil demand discredit the exemplary work of the Clinton Global Initiative to date, and the promotion of Ms Sumbo’s success story. While Ms Sumbo and millions of people like her strive to improve their lives through the production of healthy and popular palm oil, they deserve better than being undermined by such irresponsible projections and analyses. It is time that the debate over palm oil came back down to Earth and focus on real solutions – just as the palm oil industry does each and every day.

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The Oil Palm

Refried Quinoa

Ready in just minutes, this dish complements dozens of entrées. Quinoa originated in the Andes mountains of Bolivia and Peru as a staple food of the Incas. The flavorful red palm oil in this recipe makes the flavor and the color pop!

Ingredients
1/4 cup red palm oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, crushed

5 to 6 cups cooked and thoroughly cooled quinoa

Directions
In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in the oil until soft.

Add the quinoa and mix in gently, without mashing up the beautiful grains.

Bring all to a warm temperature.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Remove from heat and serve!

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The Oil Palm

The Brussels Biofuels Debate, Part III: MEP Vidal-Quadras Scraps ‘Deficient’ ILUC Factors From Commission’s Proposal

Spanish MEP and Draftsman for the influential Industry, Research and Energy Committee (ITRE), Alejo Vidal-Quadras, has dismissed the European Commission’s proposal to introduce Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) factors as part of therevision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED).

MEP Vidal-Quadras’ report, submitted to the ITRE Committee in the European Parliament, states that, ‘not enough scientific evidence is available to introduce ILUC factors into EU legislation’ and recognizes that the introduction of an arbitrary ILUC factor would compromise the survival of the European biofuels industry and undermine the European Union’s greenhouse gas reduction targets. MEP Quadras points out that ILUC is an untested science and that calculations remain, ‘vulnerable to the deficiencies and limits of themodels used to give a specific value of emissions derived from ILUC to the different types of crops’.

The Report produced by MEP Vidal-Quadras outlines a far more constructive approach to biofuels policy. Instead of discriminating against first generation and foreign-sourced biofuels like palm oil, MEP Quadras scraps the arbitrary target set by the European Commission and reprimands the Commission for overlooking increased yield performance and production of co-products in biofuel production when analyzing GHG emissions. These are two areas where the oil palm industry offers considerable advantages compared to other biofuel feedstock. The Malaysian palm oil industry can be supportive of MEP Vidal-Quadras’ report,which is practical and removes much of the most discriminatory aspects.

ILUC is not based on sound scientific evidence and cannot underpin a predictableregulatory framework that businesses and importers require. MEP Quadras’ recognition of the deficiencies and limits of the ILUC model is welcome, and should instruct not only the current revision of RED, but all future legislative proposals by the European Commission on biofuels. Other MEPs, including French MEP Corinne Lepage, are still seeking to introduce arbitrary factors on imported products under the false pretext of improving ‘sustainability’. This is dishonest and discriminatory, and it is welcome that other European politicians such as MEP Vidal-Quadras are aware of the realities of international trade, and are prepared to criticize the anti-scientitic nature of ILUC.

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The Oil Palm

The Brussels Biofuels Debate, Part II: The French Attack Palm Oil Again

The French attack against palm oil continues, but this time out of Brussels. Corinne Lepage, a French Liberal MEP and the Rapporteur for the Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), has called for the introduction of a full ILUC factor for biodiesel use in the EU, in a report submitted to the European Parliament. MEP Lepage paid no attention to the mounting body of evidence highlighting the inherent uncertainty of Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) analyses and its unsuitability for policy making. Instead, she has backed the full-fledged introduction of discriminatory ILUC factors on biofuels. If MEP Lepage’s report is adopted, arbitrary ILUC factors outlined in the Commission’s proposal will count towards the targets set on GHG emissions reductions in the RED. These ILUC factors will act as discriminatory market barriers for the export of palm oil biodiesel to Europe.

MEP Lepage is aiming to effectively end the exports of palm-based biofuels to the EU, with this report. The ILUC factors proposed by the European Commission discriminate against foreign sourced feedstock, and palm oil in particular.While actively discriminating against palm oil and oil palm co-products, MEP Lepage has taken great care to protect domestic industries by introducing aclause that delays until 2020 the introduction of ILUC factors for those domestic biofuels – because those fuels are deemed to already meet the EU’s pre-existing GHG reduction targets.

MEP Lepage’s proposal also represents an affront to national sovereignty and agricultural expansion in developing countries as it introduces new ‘sustainability standards’ that would preclude the production of biofuels from land that had previously been forested. This is an extra-territorial application of EU law that must be resisted by developing nations. The fundamental right of emerging countries to determine their own land-use policies cannot be contested and MEP Lepage’s proposal undermines national sovereignty. Developing countries have a right to increase prosperity and use their natural endowments, and this should not be undermined by grandstanding from European politicians. With her proposal, MEP Lepage risks dragging the EU into further trade disputes with its trading partners.

Similarly, her proposal to give the European Commission the power to arbitrarily change future calculations or criteria for biofuel use, leaves the door open for future protectionist policies that could pile more discrimination against palm oil.

MEP Lepage’s report is based on faulty science, is coated with discrimination against non-EU countries like Malaysia, and would have negative economic, social, and environmental consequences. The draft report is alarming for the palm oil industry, not only as they relate to their implications on palm-based biofuels, but also in terms of their broader implications for other palm-based products. There is a real risk that any precedent that is set during the revision of RED will be followed in future legislative proposals; ranging from laws on consumer protection to sustainability and carbon footprints requirements for food products.

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The Oil Palm

The Brussels Biofuels Debate, Part I: Palm Oil’s New Threat; The Revision of the Renewable Energy Directive and ILUC

The European Union is currently undergoing a revision of the Renewable Energy Directive (RED), which governs the EU’s biofuels policy. The debate in Brussels has been marked by intense debate over the most controversial proposal in the legislation: the introduction of an Indirect Land Use Change (ILUC) factor for biofuels. This new move is a transparent attempt by politicians in Europe to make it more difficult to export palm oil biodiesel to Europe: the French politician responsible for drafting the proposal has openly stated that palm oil is a target.

ILUC is based on the assumption that demand for biofuels in one part of the world leads to the displacement of food crops in other parts of the world; with the supposed ‘land use change’ resulting in CO2 emissions into the atmosphere. The result of this is that ILUC is based on guesswork.

This proposal has been met with a cavalcade of criticism and disapproval. Academic researchers, European Farmers organizations, biofuels producers, and research centers, including the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, have all highlighted the inherent uncertainty of ILUC. These groups, and many more, argue that ILUC is not based on sciences and constitutes an unscientific approach to policymaking, and it should be rejected. However, their plea has fallen on deaf ears as the European Commission and Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) push ahead with this proposal to introduce ILUC emission factors on different crops, including palm oil.

Because they discriminate between domestic and foreign feedstock, experts estimate that the European Commission’s proposed introduction of ILUC factors also constitutes a violation of international trade laws. The World Trade Organisation (WTO) forbids the use of arbitrary ‘sustainability criteria’ and other non-tariff barriers to restrict market access to foreign competitors.Fredrik Erixon, the Director of the European Centre for International Political Economy (ECIPE), explains that market restriction under ILUC ‘would not hold up in a WTO dispute-settlement case’.

The danger of ILUC lies wider that just the current revision of the Renewable Energy Directive. While today ILUC factors are being proposed for biofuels,tomorrow they could form part of new legislation on food and or other goods. Using the pretext of its broader GHG emissions reduction targets, the EU has shown that it is willing to adopt GHG emissions reduction policies that have implications far beyond its own borders. From the proposed Airline Emissions Tax to European Commission’s report on Sustainable Food Consumption and Production; it is clear that the EU’s ongoing attempts at ‘greening’ the economy may spill over from biofuels to food and services. The EU is attempting to force their own regulation on to third countries, even when that regulation has been shown to be unscientific and poorly thought-through.

The revision of RED, and the ILUC proposal, pose a real threat to market access for palm based biofuels. These actions should also be seen in the context of a broader range of EU policies that will seek to discriminate against the import of foreign goods; irrespectively of whether their end use is for food or fuel. The palm oil industry must remain steadfast in its opposition to the European Commission’s proposal as the adoption of ILUC factors on biofuels will mark a dangerous precedent for the introduction of similar discriminatory measures – not founded on science – in other areas of EU legislation.

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The Oil Palm

Palm Oil Bread

Bread has become a staple in diets across the globe. This week, we’re featuring a bread with a unique look and taste that is simply delicious. 

Ingredients
3/4 cups warm water

1 teaspoon sugar

2 teaspoons dry yeast

1/6 cup palm oil

1/4 cup cane sugar

2 cups whole wheat flour

1.5+ cups all purpose flour

1 pinch tablespoon salt

Directions
Put warm water in a large mixing bowl and add two teaspoons sugar. Sprinkle yeast over water and let sit for about ten minutes until bubbly. Then add in the rest of the ingredients in the order given, adding more flour as needed. Knead dough until smooth and elastic, then put back in bowl, greased or floured, and let rise until double, about 45 minutes. (Depending on where you live it might take longer or less time.)

When risen, punch down dough, then let rest while you grease two loaf pans OR two cookies/baking sheets. Shape loaves and place in/on baking pans or sheets. Let rise until double, about 45 minutes.

Heat oven to 350 degrees when loaves are nearly double. When risen (if doing loaves on sheets, score the top) bake for about half an hour, until the tops are a nice brown color. Remove from oven, then loosen sides of loaves then let cool 5 minutes. Then remove them from the pans to prevent a soggy crust. Let cool completely before slicing.

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The Oil Palm

New orang-utans populations discovered and protected in Malaysia

Malaysian government authorities have committed to protect a population of newly discovered orang-utans. The commitment highlights Malaysian conservation initiatives which effectively protect the country’s orang-utan populations and biodiversity.

The announcement calls into question accusations made by Western campaigners that orang-utans are threatened with rapid extinction in Malaysia, and that the palm oil industry is responsible for driving the alleged extinction.

While some forest lands zoned for agricultural development have been converted to plantations, Malaysian agricultural development has been carefully orchestrated to ensure the country protects biodiversity and ample habitat for orang-utan populations. Over 50% of Malaysia remains forested.

International conservation group, the Wildlife Conservation Society, has praised the recent efforts of the Malaysian authorities in “protecting a globally significant orang-utan population”.

Researchers from the Sarawak Forest Department, assisted by Sarawak Forestry Corporation, Wildlife Conservation Society, and Borneo Adventure discovered the new population of orang-utans in February 2013.

The government of Sarawak subsequently announced it would protect the newly discovered orang-utan population and their habitat. The population was found near Batang Ai National Park and Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak, throughout an area of about 14,000 hectares.

The recent discovery and subsequent conservation initiative demonstrates efforts taken by Malaysian authorities to protect orang-utan populations. The species are formally protected under Malaysian conservation regulations, while the country has an extensive network of national parks dedicated to protect biodiversity.

The recently discovered population is reportedly a subspecies of the Borneo orang-utan. Scientists have identified two species of orang-utans, with the Borneo species are more abundant than the Sumatran variety. There are significant populations of Borneo orang-utan located in Malaysia, with an estimated 50 000 – 60 000 Borneo orang-utans in the wild.

Despite the recent discovery, reliable data and research quantifying orang-utan populations is largely lacking. Local Iban communities had reportedly been aware of the existence of orang-utans in the area, but populations were not officially known until a population survey was undertaken.

The discovery of new populations raises further possibilities that significant undiscovered population of orang-utans reside in remote Malaysian forested areas. Given the unreliable population data, orang-utan numbers may increase further as new populations are ‘recovered’ or indigenous knowledge of local forests is incorporated into conservation databases.

A survey of a nearby area in 2012 also found a significant population of orang-utan, which may have increased the orang-utan population of Sarawak by as much as 15% according to reports at the time.

The field surveys conducted in February found a total of 995 orang-utan nests in the area. Nests were also discovered in the remote areas analysed through aerial surveys.

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The Oil Palm

Allegations Against Malaysian Palm Oil Industry on Orang-utans Unfounded; Disruptive to Conservation Efforts

The Malaysian government and palm oil industry today mark the start of the Sabah Wildlife Conservation Colloquium (SWCC 2012), which aims to highlight conservation efforts undertaken in the Borneo. The conference underlines the efforts of the Malaysian government and the palm oil industrywith regards to biodiversity conservation and CSR programs, and to highlight conservation studies by reputable research institutions and conservation NGOs. In addition, three State Action Plans will be released at SWCC for the Bornean orangutan, the Bornean elephant and the Sumatran rhinoceros.

The Sabah state is blessed with more than 10,000 orang-utans, 6,000 proboscis monkeys and 2,400 elephants. Three State Action Plans will be released at SWCC for the Bornean orangutan, the Bornean elephant and the Sumatran rhinoceros, which will provide a platform for a better protection of these three flagship species.

It is therefore most unfortunate that environmental organizations have chosen this important venue as part of their campaign to harm the palm oil industry in Malaysia and the hundreds of thousands of jobs that depend on it, as they continue to make unfounded allegations that the industry is a leading threat to orang-utan conservation and that orang-utan in Malaysia are endangered. Neither claim is true.

In a response to these allegations, the Malaysian Environment Ministry, finds accusations by Nature Alert against the Malacca Zoo “baseless” and clearly showed “deliberate attempts to mislead the public”. Invitations to Nature Alert to visit the Zoo were “refused”. The Ministry stressed that the orang-utan is a protected species in Malaysia and should not be manipulated to tarnish the image of Malaysia.

Facts on Orang-utans in Malaysia\n

For every hectare of land developed for palm oil production, four hectares are preserved as permanent forest, including orangutan habitats in Sabah and Sarawak (the two original states in Malaysia with orangutan populations), where 50 percent or more of their land is preserved under permanent forest.

This ensures a healthy balance between preserving tropical habitats and meeting domestic and international food requirements.

A conference was held in 2009 in Borneo to address the risks and challenges facing the future of orangutans. At the conference, experts noted that the primary threat to orangutans was not the legitimate agriculture expansion of the palm oil industry, but poachers, hunting by local peoples, poor enforcement of existing laws and mining.

The Sabah and Sarawak State governments have identified a number of forest areas known to contain higher populations of orang-utans as wildlife sanctuaries, national parks or forest preserves. Ulu Segama – Malua Forest Reserve in Sabah, spanning over 0.236 million hectares, has been shown to be inhabited by about 6,000 – 7,000 orang-utans, the most populated orang-utan area in Sabah. The Lanjak-Entimau Wildlife Sanctuary in Sarawak has been shown to be inhabited by about 1,400 orang-utans. All these areas are permanently protected from development.

The Malaysian Palm Oil Council Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF) was launched in 2006 with an initial funding of Ringgit Malaysia (RM) 20 million of which RM10 million is a grant from the Malaysian government and the balance of RM10 million is provided by the palm oil industry. The Fund is administered by the Malaysian Palm Oil Council, which has the overall responsibility to manage the various conservation projects funded through MPOWCF. Funds are provided for execution of projects and studies on wildlife, biodiversity and environmental conservation. The MPOWCF also accepts contributions from independent donors. For every ringgit contributed by an independent donor, MPOC will top it up with another ringgit, that is, on 1:1 basis.