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Malaysia to Launch ‘Orangutan Diplomacy’ Program to Bolster Palm Oil Image

Malaysia is soon to unveil a program, inspired by China's panda diplomacy, to demonstrate its commitment to conservation. This step aims to target palm oil-importing nations and improve sustainability in the industry.

KJ Staff
Malaysia to Launch ‘Orangutan Diplomacy’ Program to Bolster Palm Oil Image (Photo Source: Pexels.com)
Malaysia to Launch ‘Orangutan Diplomacy’ Program to Bolster Palm Oil Image (Photo Source: Pexels.com)

Malaysia has announced plans for an innovative ‘orangutan diplomacy’ initiative aimed at countries that purchase palm oil. The move comes amidst global criticism over the environmental impact of palm oil production, particularly on the habitat of endangered orangutans in biodiversity-rich regions.

Inspired by China's successful panda diplomacy, Malaysia intends to demonstrate its commitment to conservation and biodiversity through this program. Minister of Plantation and Commodities, Johari Abdul Ghani, highlighted the importance of showcasing Malaysia as a sustainable palm oil producer while protecting forests.

Although details regarding the execution and timeline of the orangutan program remain undisclosed, it is expected to target key palm oil importing nations like China, India, and certain European Union members. Malaysia's previous experience with China's panda diplomacy, which involved receiving two pandas in 2014, serves as a precedent for this endeavor.

Unlike China's well-established giant panda breeding program, Malaysia lacks a similar infrastructure for orangutans. However, conservation centers in Sarawak and Sabah on the island of Borneo, along with NGO-led conservation efforts, play a crucial role in orangutan conservation.

Johari emphasized the need for collaboration between major palm oil producers and NGOs to prioritize conservation and sustainability efforts. This initiative unfolds against the backdrop of ongoing efforts within the palm oil industry to enhance sustainability, spearheaded by organizations like the Roundtable for Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO).

Palm oil serves as a ubiquitous ingredient across various consumer products, from personal care items to food products like ice cream and bread. Malaysia's ‘orangutan diplomacy’ program seeks to address concerns surrounding palm oil production while fostering positive international relations and conservation efforts.

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