This conversation is closed.


Almost every product you find in your local market contains palm oil.It is reasonable to say that almost everything is smothered with palm oil.Malaysia is the biggest palm oil supplier in the world.Proud we are to say that we are able to cater palm oil for the world.We depend on the palm oil industry to make our economy stable.But in every story, there must be a bad side of it.Our natural forest reserves are depleting fast.How can we reserve our unique floras/faunas AND at the same time, cater for the world and be stable financially? Together with this issue, I present to you a video I found on YouTube regarding the effects of palm oil plantations on the environment/wildlife.One of the solutions to this dilemma according to the video is for consumers to only choose products derived from sustainable palm oil.Is that just it or are there more steps that we can take to save the environment/wildlife here in Malaysia? Remember that this problem doesn't involve Malaysians only, but the whole world society as well.We,consumers around the world, are all in this together.So, let's all together find the solution.

  • thumb
    Jul 13 2011: As a farmer who grows palm oil myself, I can tell you there are no sustainable plantations out there. Forget certification and sustainability campaigns. All current plantations are based on deforestation.

    The only sustainable plantation model is the one based on ultra-low-density planting (a few plants per hectare only). But this drives up costs.

    So the real question is: are you willing to pay twice as much for a liter of palm oil, knowing that this is the only way to preserve rain forests?
    • thumb
      Jul 13 2011: I think you can guess the answer already.You seem like a person who has numerous experiences in the palm oil industry.What would you suggest then? can we design a plan that can cater for our needs,yet doesn't involve in destroying the natural ecosystem around us? Is there a possibility of creating such plans?
      • thumb
        Jul 13 2011: .
        A crude plan would have to have at least the following components:

        1. Invest much more in plant science. The development of high-yielding clones is important.
        2. We should then think of replanting all old, existing plantations - even those of smallholders.
        3. Diversify income and develop new products from palm oil (I'm thinking of biocomposites, biofabrics and bioenergy from waste-streams)

        This plan requires a huge investment. But it may allow us to keep up with growing demand for a while.

        Next we'll have to design plantation models based on low-density planting, and use the carbon and ecosystem service markets to compensate for the lost profits.
  • thumb
    Jul 13 2011: Hello Muhammad,

    "PALM OIL!" is not really a question to the TED community. Even "is there more steps that we can take to save the environment" is still quite vague. There's plenty of environmental topics at hand already, so the answer to the latter is "yes" ;-). But to start an ineteresting conversation, you'd better be more specific.

    • thumb
      Jul 13 2011: Thanks for the advice!!!! By the way, the title PALM OIL! was just to attract Tedsters.I placed this post in the debate section but when I submitted it, it changed to question mode.Which part don't you understand? I would really love to explain it to you.Have a nice day!
    • thumb
      Jul 13 2011: How can we reserve our unique floras/faunas AND at the same time, cater for the world and be stable financially? * We means Malaysia as a whole. ;)