15/05/2008 (The Earth Times), Los Angeles - The American Palm Oil Council (APOC) today announced that the Malaysian palm oil industry, together with the Malaysian government, has launched the Malaysian Palm Oil Wildlife Conservation Fund (MPOWCF). APOC is a U.S. association representing the Malaysian palm oil industry.
The MPOWCF is a $6.4 million revolving fund dedicated to studies, efforts and initiatives in conserving the wildlife and the environment. The Malaysian palm oil industry and the government provided equal funds to create the MPOWCF, which was officially announced last month at the International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference in Malaysia.
"For years Malaysia has been working to develop and implement policies and practices that result in palm oil that can truly be considered sustainable and we hope that this fund will further support those efforts," said Mohd Salleh Kassim, Executive Director of APOC. "Especially given the worldwide concerns about the environmental impact of biofuels, we must do everything we can to ensure the protection and conservation of wildlife and biodiversity."
The MPOWCF has already funded a number of research projects. The fund provided a grant to establish a Jungle Patrol to protect wildlife in forest reserves bordering oil palm plantations in collaboration with the Sabah Forestry Department. It also approved a grant for the Borneo Conservation Trust, Sabah Wildlife Department and the NGO HUTAN to survey the orangutan population in Sabah. MPOWCF provided the funds to the University Malaysia Sabah to perform a biodiversity conservation study on ox-bow lakes in oil palm plantations.
Application for research funding is open to universities, institute of higher learning, research institutes, government agencies and NGO's. Research projects should examine the impact of the palm oil industry on wildlife, biodiversity and environmental conservation in a scientific and factual manner.
The American Palm Oil Council, a U.S. association representing the Malaysian palm oil industry, works to educate the American public about the benefits of palm oil, which is used around the world in food applications, biofuel, soaps, candles, and other products.