Kuala Lumpur, 30 Oct - In relation to the article published in the Star on 28 October 2017 concerning the European Parliament Resolution on Palm Oil and Deforestation of Rainforests, the European Union Delegation to Malaysia wishes to make the following clarifications:
The European Parliament Resolution on palm oil and deforestation adopted on 4 April 2017 is non-binding in nature. It represents the views of the European Parliament, reflecting the concerns put forward by various segments of EU public opinion as part of our democratic process. This Resolution is not part of a legislative initiative and thus, it does not need any ratification by EU Member countries.
The European Commission has taken due note of this resolution and the European Parliament´s engagement on the issue of palm oil and deforestation of rainforests. Addressing the environmental and social challenges of deforestation and forest degradation remains an important matter for the EU and in particular as part of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Sustainable Development Goals, as well as the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
The European Commission considers that palm oil production has to be addressed in a balanced manner, as it presents both opportunities and challenges. We are aware of the environmental and social risks associated with palm oil production, such as deforestation and biodiversity loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and human rights, health and welfare issues. At the same time we note that palm oil production plays an important role in the economies of producing countries such as Malaysia and that it contributes directly and indirectly to lifting people out of poverty in these countries. Furthermore, as pointed out in the resolution, other vegetable oil crops have a lower productivity and therefore require more extensive use of land and other inputs. Significant efforts have been undertaken by Malaysia and other affected countries to reduce the environmental impacts of palm oil,
The EU remains committed to work together with Malaysia, and other palm oil producing countries, in a constructive way to guarantee that palm oil production continues to be a key element of the Malaysian economy while ensuring at the same time its sustainability.
A delegation of eight high-ranking representatives from the Indian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEF&CC), the Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB), the national planning committee NITI Aayog and the Indian Resource Panel (InRP) visited Brussels (From Thursday, 26 October to Friday, 27 October 2017), exploring Belgian and European best practices in the field of resource efficiency.