DURBAN (South Africa): Malaysia is still studying the best method of cultivation of oil palm on peat land and the type that can be utilised, said Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
"The study has not been completed. We have done a lot of work on this to show we have an industry that takes into account, the concerns of everyone," he said in reply to question about peat land being used to cultivate oil palm.
He was speaking at a panel discussion on Climate Change Mitigation Through Sustainable Practices, organised by the Oil Palm Industry in Malaysia, on Monday.
It was held on the sidelines of the 17th Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, better known as COP17.
Meanwhile, Malaysian Palm Oil Promotion Council chief executive officer Tan Sri Dr Yusof Basiron pointed out, that oil palm is not the only crop cultivated peat land.
"The temperate world has a lot more peat land for cultivation. They use a lot of the peat land for agriculture in the whole of Netherlands. But nobody complaints about their flowers grown on peat land.
"I will not apologise for peat land being developed, in the sense that, this is part of the development in developing countries like Malaysia," he added.
He also said peat land is only six per cent of the 4.85 million hectares cultivated with oil palm in Malaysia.
He said for a developing country, releasing 20 million tonnes of green house gas annually was not a big deal.
"The aviation industry emits over 600 million tonnes annually, but nobody questions this.
"I have enough in conservation and sustainability funds to help develop studies to address the various issues raised, but it look like we are being managed and focused at the micro level," Yusof added. - BERNAMA