What Rainforest?

Malaysia Boleh : Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) wins prestigious European Union Award
January 5, 2009, 11:12 am
Filed under: Oil Palm

The Agrofuel lobby which includes the The Malaysian Oil Palm Council have won the ‘Worst EU Lobbying Award’ for their use of misleading information and greenwash to influence crucial debates in the European Parliament and Council by claiming that agrofuels (crops used for fuel for cars and lorries) are sustainable.

We at What Rainforest? would like to thank all our readers who have taken their time off to vote. As a result, the agrofuel lobby raked in 52% of the votes, leaving its runner up, The International Air Transport Association (IATA) with only an appalling 14% of the votes.

This goes to show that the frequent trips made by our dear Plantations, Industries and Commodity Minister, Y.B. Datuk Peter Chin Kah Fui have not gone to waste. Heck, he flies there so often, he might as well work for the IATA too. Let us all give Datuk Peter Chin a pat in the back.

You go Pete!

For more information, visit http://www.worstlobby.eu/2008/home_en


2 Comments so far
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My, my … would we get another comment from some Sarawak supremacy groupie or Malaysian palm oil diehard supporters who will accused the EU of being jealous of this wonderland success in producing this life-giving, oxygen-producing, sustainably grwon golden crop …

Let me try to imitate:

What’s wrong with you people huh … mat salleh already hantam us, we must stand united mah … never mindlah IPs lost their lands, peat swamps burnt and releasing tonnes of carbon and rainforest replaced by oil palm plantation (it’s tree afterall, why so fussy).

Comment by hornbill

Some Reflections

Now, it is easy for the EU, the Wall Street Journal and the author to take pot shots at Malaysia and Indonesia for attempting to lift themselves up economically by cultivating palm oil for biofuels. In fact, the Malaysian Palm Oil Council issued a rebuttal to some topics reviewed in this story. And although some of it is ridiculous, it does point out obviously hypocritical things like this —
Britain has little forest left, as most land has been converted to agriculture. Such a paucity of forest cover and the preponderance of agricultural land have resulted in reduced biodiversity and caused the loss of fauna and flora.
According to data from the Food and Agriculture Organisation, Britain has less than 12 per cent of its land under forest cover compared with 64 per cent for Malaysia. Agricultural land makes up 71 per cent of its total land area compared with less than 19 per cent in Malaysia, of which oil palm accounts for two-thirds.
In the 19th century, Europeans were despoiling southeast Asia for the rubber and timber trades. From the WSJ, peaking of Borneo —
In the 1800s, Dutch and British traders began carving up parts of the island to produce rubber and other commodities. Later, Malaysian and Indonesian timber barons devastated millions of hectares of forest logging tropical hardwoods. Today, only a little more than half of Borneo’s once-ubiquitous rain-forest cover remains, according to WWF, the global conservation organization.
As a citizen of the United States — the world’s largest natural resource consumer driving much of the planet’s freefall — and largest abuser of the global commons, which is the environment upon which we all ultimately depend, I must add this apologetic to my criticisms of land use practices in southeast Asia. After all, people are just trying to feed themselves, raise their families and prosper economically as far as that is possible. Quoting the WSJ concerning Indonesia, “the arrival of new palm-oil plantations has meant jobs and opportunities for many Dayak families [of Kalimantan], and some have even taken ownership stakes in the operations.” There are environmentalists in southeast Asia just as there are here among the NGOs in America — I have quoted some of them. At the same time, John Q. Suburban in the United States is just trying to feed himself, raise his family and prosper economically as far as that is possible.
So, in the short run, some will win, some will lose and everyone wants to live. Over the longer term, however, the underlying problem is too many people (wherever they live) consuming too much energy and other natural resources. Overshoot and unsustainable modes of living are not confined to southeast Asia, as any American should know.
Dave Cohen
Senior Contributor
The Oil Drum
davec @ linkvoyager.com

Comment by Datuk Pongo pigmaeus

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