By Zuraidah Kamaruddin

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia--The 7th International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference 2022 (IPOSC 2022), to be held on Sept 13 this year will be an important platform for Malaysia to counter smear campaigns by Western vested groups against our golden commodity.

The bi-annual conference, with this year's theme being “Shifting Sustainability Compliance into Sustainability Stewardship", will see top experts share their views on the recent developments and possible solutions on the current sustainability concerns and challenges.

Held since 2008, the conference will be held in Kuala Lumpur, after the last one was held online in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

The event is also part of MPIC's aggressive efforts to counter misinformation and false information on Malaysia’s golden oil via “The Global Movement to Champion the Goodness of Palm Oil” campaign.

IPOSC 2022 is intended as a targeted platform to update the stakeholders on pertinent and emerging sustainability developments in the industry.

There is a crucial need to continue engaging and update the Malaysian palm oil industry, as well as global stakeholders on sustainability concerns.

This includes Net Carbon Zero and decarbonisation efforts, green financing and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) opportunities, as well as international deforestation-linked legislations, which will impact commodities like palm oil.

The Malaysian palm oil industry has been at the forefront of sustainability initiatives, which include sustainability certifications, sustainability reporting and ESG governance.

Malaysia would like to continue positioning its palm oil industry as a leader in sustainability and ESG engagements.

The topics to be discussed at the IPOSC 2022 include the Net Zero and Decarbonisation Opportunities in the Palm Oil Industry Opportunities and constraints in the palm oil industry to achieve Net Zero and decarbonisation efforts, in line with the global commitment to achieve carbon neutrality as early as 2050.

Global Sustainability Trade Barriers and Accelerators Sustainability initiatives in the financial, consumer and biofuels sectors, which include the roles of Green Financing, ESG investments and low-ILUC (Indirect Land Use Change) risk biofuels certifications.

The Impacts of Deforestation-linked Legislations on the Palm Oil Industry Potential implication of new regulations in developed countries to curb the use and imports of deforestation-linked commodities, and the role of the revised Malaysian Sustainable Palm Oil (MSPO) in addressing these concerns.

Studies have consistently shown that palm oil is more ecologically friendly compared with other oil crops. For example, palm oil is a more efficient carbon sink and uses less fertilisers. It also produces more oil per hectare compared with rapeseed, soybean and sunflower.

The MPIC is hopeful that the conference will help Malaysia stamp its mark as a global leader in sustainable management of the palm oil industry.

This will help refute baseless allegations from the West that our palm oil industry has caused untold damage to the ecology.

*Zuraida Kamaruddin is the Malaysian Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities.*