Friday, March 31

MP: Most European countries against palm oil imports


KOTA KINABALU: If the European Parliament decides to ratify the Palm Oil and Deforestation of the Rainforests resolution, producers of palm oil will not be able to sell in Europe.

Putatan MP Datuk Dr Marcus Makin Mojigoh provided the bleak outlook for the commodity following his visit to Brussels as part of a bi-partisan parliamentary committee to talk to European Parliament counterparts concerning the matter.

He said that most of the countries objected to the importation of palm oil and that this was worrying to the importers of palm oil.

He also said that the reason the issue was brought to the roundtable and made the resolution to ban palm oil was because plantations had caused a lot of deforestation and that palm oil production was emitting green house gases.

Marcus, who attended the meeting as the representative under the UN Charter, responded that while Malaysia was not perfect and admitted that there was still a lot of room that the government could improve on.

However, he explained that palm oil was not displacing the people as alleged by some parties.

He also explained that Malaysia had strong environmental laws against open burning and deforestation, citing that Sabah had gazetted over 55 per cent of her forest as permanent forest reserves.

Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) chief executive officer, Datuk Darrell Webber meanwhile said that they knew the resolution was non-binding and that they were waiting for the technical evaluation from the EU Commission.

He said that RSPO had been monitoring and engaging with EU authorities via their team in Europe and with their members.

“We understand that the action by the European Parliamentary would be stimulated from a place of concern for environmental and social issues. However, RSPO consistently advocates that banning will never be a solution in addressing these serious issues. The solution must be sustainable palm oil (CSPO).”

“And the RSPO being the largest scheme promoting certified sustainable palm oil, with more than 3,500  organisations as members from 80 countries is well placed to assist and support in addressing that European stakeholders  are concerned about. Also we wish to highlight that Europe is the largest market for RSPO Certified Sustainable Palm Oil.”

At the same time, he also said that it was not for RSPO to debate on where and how palm oil should or should not be used, which is the job of regulators.

“But if and when palm oil is used, it should be CSPO,” he said.