KUALA LUMPUR Aug 1 Malaysia, the word's No.2
palm oil producer, will come up with a certification scheme to
ensure the tropical oil is grown without clearing forests and
destroying wildlife, a newspaper reported on Monday.
The Business Times quoted Commodities Minister Bernard
Dompok as saying the Southeast Asian country had to act on its
own, signalling it was responding to growing scrutiny by green
groups and activists.
"This is at a preliminary stage," Dompok said during a
working visit to promote Malaysian commodities in Australia.
"But we will go ahead because the Roundtable on Sustainable
Palm Oil keeps on changing its goal posts on how to produce
sustainable palm oil," he added, referring to a body of planters
and green groups tasked with certifying green palm oil.
Malaysia joins top palm oil producer Indonesia that is set
to issue its own certification for planters next year on growing
concerns that the RSPO has been dominated by green groups and
sales of eco-friendly palm oil have been slow.
Malaysian Palm Oil Council Chief Yusof Basiron said the
Malaysian scheme will emulate the one by Indonesia, which is
mandatory and where offenders could be punished by law.
"The industry is already highly monitored. We will just
tweak it a little bit and look at what the market and the NGOs
want," said Basiron who was also in Australia for the working
"If they don't want deforestation, then we will include it
in the certification requirements. If they don't want orang utan
to be destroyed, we will include it too," he added.
The RSPO scheme is voluntary but in recent months it has
taken a harder stance on plantations. In April, the RSPO
censured Malaysia's No.2 planter IOI Corp for green
violations and suspended ongoing plans to certify its
(Reporting by Niluksi Koswanage)