KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — Malaysia remains committed to ensuring that oil palm plantations are operated in a sustainable manner, including measures such as banning them in permanent forest reserves and limiting the size of planted areas to 6.5 million hectares nationwide.

Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities I Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng said the regulations are aimed at ensuring the quality of palm oil and countering discrimination against the commodity by European countries.

“We cannot allow oil palm plantations in permanent forest reserves, this is a condition under the Forestry Department and one of the conditions for the Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) certification. The MSPO certificate is to ensure quality and standard and can be used nationwide,” he told Parliament today.

The MSPO certification enables wider access to international markets.

The European Union, which used to be a major importer of Malaysian palm oil, has stated that only palm oil produced sustainably can enter European markets.

Meanwhile, Wee revealed that the Malaysian Palm Oil Green Conservation Foundation (MPOGCF) had received allocations amounting to RM8.02 million up to July 2021.

“The allocations are used to pay management costs and for programmes and projects under the MPOGCF. From the allocations received, RM726,708 had been spent up to August 2020 encompassing expenses for the Wildlife Rescue Unit

“The Harimau Malaya conservation project costs RM3,602 while the expenses of other projects will be made according to their progress and achievements,” he said in reply to Teresa Kok Suh Sim (PH-Seputeh) who wanted to know the amount of funding received by the MPOGCF. — Bernama