18. 03. 2020

Keeping the Spotlight on Palm Oil

It feels, in these COVID times, as if literally everything is shifting from what once seemed like a ‘steady state’ to disintegrating chaos. With so much up in the air, is there anything that looks and feels exactly the same?

I’m recently back from another trip to Malaysia and Singapore, with both countries just getting to grips with their own coronavirus crisis. One thing, however, was entirely, predictably, depressingly unchanged: the palm oil debate!
As readers of my blog will know, this is a bone that I too cannot help gnawing away at – as one of a small minority of environmentalists who decided a long time ago that the only way of putting an end to the ‘state of war’ that exists between environmentalists in Europe and palm oil producers in South East Asia was to work together. To build trust. Dispel confusion and eschew wilful misinformation – on both sides.

It remains an uphill battle. Too many people, particularly amongst the NGOs, just love their embattled, self-justifying certainties.

While I was there, I did an interview with an online news channel astroAWANI. I really enjoyed the chance to explain why Forum for the Future continues to engage with our principal partners in the palm oil industry, Sime Darby Plantation, and with the industry as a whole. And why, six or seven years ago, we found we were no longer able to continue to engage with the likes of BP and Shell!

Contested territory, for sure! Check it out here.
  

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