Email to MESTEEC- Dated 1st Jan 18
Dear Minister Yeo (Climate Change Minister of Malaysia),
Refer to the attached (i.e. MSPO Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil certification guideline), pertaining to Norway decision to ban biofuel from Malaysia and EFTA not recognize MSPO. I'm writing here to request your ministry to assist Ministry of Primary Industry to review, if not co-develop a more appropriate version, as I find the MSPO certification is more toward quality assurance than have anything to do with SUSTAINABILITY.
Refer to the MSPO clause 8.2, Mass Balance. This clause jeopardize the entire existence of MSPO and shall be removed from the certification criteria, as it is very misleading and very likely green washing consumer into belief what they brought is from sustainable source.
The entire MSPO does not mention about land use, environmental impact assessment, social impact (may refer to fairtrade certification), and how to ensure the entire palm oil supply chain from land conversion, seeding, growing, harvest and process of palm oil up to end user, meeting certain criteria that are left minimum impact on environment and society or how does it benefit environment, society and economy in comparison with alternative materials or a stable yardstick.
Similarly in carbonfootprint calculation, whether it should be cradle-to-grave or cradle-to-cradle approach and may as well include carbon footprint and water footprint calculation to meet minimum the MSPO requirement. This need to study the lifecycle of palm oil and land use.
Ideally, MSPO should be developed in such a way enable user to compare with others alternative materials to determine which is more environmental friendly. Carbon footprint and water footprint is a good start. Pest management and maintenance (e.g. trimming, fertilizing soil and treatment to cure diseases) should have minimum impact on environment and biodiversity.
I do not think the current version of MSPO is anything related to SUSTAINABILITY, as in what defined by the United Nation. Therefore, it may be the reason Europea Free Trade Association impose high tariff or ban import of palm oil altogether.
I would suggest the ministry to get SIRIM involve in the review/development since SIRIM had developed some carbon footprint tools available and may replicate the same process to make one for palm oil.
Do get feedback from EFTA and look into what are their requirements and how does it match to Malaysia /palm oil producer country economy and technical challenge. We may negotiate to come out with the best mutual benefit solution but should not insist on something (current MSPO) apparently substandard for their approval. We want result and we must take into consideration of client (stakeholders)requirements.
On the ground, I would suggest MPI people emulate Minister Yeo, to go out and regulate plantation operator and palm oil producer for compliance and work out a feasible solution to achieve sustainability. Do not keep play politics on science, it will only make a fool out of yourself.
Poisoning wildlife especially elephant is a norm practice in palm oil plantation. Illegal catching and selling of wildlife for extra income also prevalence in the industry. This severely compromised the CITES for animals classified as endanger under IUCN redlist. Malaysia and Indonesia is the worst country in this aspect. There's no biodiversity consciousness in the industry nor the government. Please kindly work with PERHILITAN (Malaysia forestry department) and related NGO to educate all stakeholders involve in the supply chain.
I would appreciate if you can promptly act on the matter and update me on the status.
Email to Ministry of Primary Industry-Dated 29th December 2018.
In regards to the EU ban or high tax impose on palm oil import, refer to the link:<https://www.thestar.com.my/business/business-news/2018/12/28/norways-decision-to-ban-palm-oil-biofuels-unfair-and-unjust/>, I would like to suggest your ministry enquire what do Norway and others EU country want from our palm oil import before explain the MSPO (Malaysia Sustainable Palm Oil certification) to them.
I would suggest Malaysia to review the MSPO certification to ensure meeting the land use and others sustainable practice to EU requirements otherwise invite them to give feedback as to what they are really seeking for? Is palm oil a threat the environment or their local Industry? Justification must be back by scientific findings that are verifiable.
If palm oil is not use, what are the alternative? Is the alternative greener? More economical?
★I never work in the public sector before and have not receive any remuneration from the government. I'm an advocate for sustainable development and nonpartisan.