Making Palm Oil Industry More Sustainable

By Murniati Abu Karim
Photo Shahiddan Saidi

BANGI, 25 October 2021 – The United Nations’ 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030 should serve as a baseline for Malaysia’s palm oil industry to ensure maximum sustainability.

Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister Datuk Zuraida Kamaruddin stated that the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme was launched in 2015 as a means of promoting sustainability in the palm oil industry.

She explained that MSPO is Malaysia’s national certification scheme for oil palm plantations, independent and organised smallholders, and palm oil processing facilities.

According to her, MSPO certification ensures that the palm oil industry’s sources are transparent, that the plantation provides safe and secure working conditions, and that the plantation complies with local legal requirements.

“One of the MSPO certification principles is that the plantation embraces nature, protecting the environment’s biodiversity and ecosystem while causing the least amount of environmental damage possible.

“Any initiative that promotes a positive reputation of the country’s palm oil industry should be encouraged,” she added.

Datuk Zuraida said this while officiating the MPOB-UKM virtual forum, which was organised by the UKM Faculty of Economics and Management and the MPOB-UKM Endowment Chair.

The forum, titled ‘Palm Oil Contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) 2030’, addressed socioeconomic issues concerning the palm oil industry and how the industry can make contributions to the SDG initiatives.

It featured prominent speakers, including Malaysian Palm Oil Board Deputy Director General (Research & Development) Dr. Zainab Idris, MPOB-UKM Endowment Chair Visiting Professor Prof. Dr. Hung-Hao Chang, and MPOB-UKM Endowment Chair Head of Environmental Sustainability Cluster Professor Dr. Er Ah Choy.

Also present at the forum was UKM Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation Prof. Dato’ Ir. Dr. Abdul Wahab Mohammad.