By ASILA JALIL/ pic by BLOOMBERG
THE government is planning to publish concession maps on oil palm acreage to the public to ensure transparency in the industry, said Malaysia Palm Oil Certification Council (MPOCC).
The council, which is a sustainability certification body under the Primary Industries Ministry, said in a statement yesterday it aimed to reach 100% traceability on crude palm oil (CPO) up until the farm level nationwide through the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification scheme by 2025.
CPO is the main commodity traded on Bursa Suq Al-Sila’ to facilitate Islamic liquidity management and financing by Islamic financial institutions, while Bank Negara Malaysia’s Commodity Murabahah Programme uses CPO as its underlying asset.
MPOCC launched MSPO Trace app, which can trace the source of CPO along its supply chain, in November 2019.
“These efforts are crucial in convincing the international community that CPO produced in Malaysia is guaranteed in terms of sustainability and quality, especially to deny accusations that link palm oil to deforestation, exploitation of workers, violation of rights of Orang Asli and others,” said MPOCC CEO Chew Jit Seng in the statement.
MSPO Trace is also able to identify the location of farms and palm oil processing facilities that have received sustainable certification in the country.
Chew said the council is confident that Malaysia is able to develop and operate the national palm oil certification scheme’s operations, which are recognised internationally through the MSPO Trace app.
As of Nov 30, 2019, some 3.5 million hectares (ha) or 60% of the country’s palm estates have been certified by MSPO. The certification includes small farmers with crop area of 652,000ha and 1,678 farms totalling to an area of 2.89 million acres (1.17 million ha).
Last week, the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) was granted permission by the gover n ment to publish the maps of members’ oil palm concessions in Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak.
RSPO said the maps can be accessed via its Geo-RSPO platform. The maps include palm oil concession boundaries of RSPO members in the country and display data such as active hotspots, tree cover loss and tree cover gain.
“MPOCC also lauded the move by RSPO secretariat who published palm oil concession maps of its members for Peninsular Malaysia and Sarawak via its interactive application, Geo-RSPO.
“The initiatives by MSPO Trace and Geo-RSPO will assist the country in encouraging mapping transparency of palm oil area in the country to ensure the sustainability of the industry and the responsibility of all shareholders in the country’s palm oil industry,” Chew added.