Am I being Green?
Green can mean naive or credulous and the reason for asking myself this question is that I've been unable to confirm last night's post. Even though the news emanated, via email, from eminently respectable authorities such as WWF and the Rain Forest Portal, I can find nothing to confirm what is surely of major importance, Could it be that I only want to know about events I have lobbied for
or agree with
That the world's mass media has not picked up on the news is surprising and all I can find on the WWF site is a week old press release
praising a surprise decision by the government of the Malaysian state of Sabah to protect its most important remaining lowland forests on the island of Borneo.
That is just a state rather than one of the three countries supposedly working together.
What I have found could in fact give the lie to the notion of not destroying that vast swathe of Kalimantan (which, subliminally, I've just typed as Kalla
The following is from today's Jakarta Post
.Indonesia and Malaysia have agreed to form a strategic alliance to produce, market and export crude palm oil (CPO), with business players assuming the collaborative effort as an attempt to form a cartel and thereby control the price of the commodity on the international market.
Vice President Jusuf Kalla, who is on a visit to Malaysia, and Malaysian Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib bin Abdul Razak mapped out the shape of the collaborative venture during a closed-doors meeting on Wednesday.
"We have agreed to boost the production and marketing of CPO by forming a strategic alliance. Malaysia has the capital and technical management skills while Indonesia has abundant land and labor," said Najib during a press conference.
At another meeting with Kalla, Malaysian businesspeople conveyed concerns
about problems they encountered in the plantation sector, including extortion of money from plantation investors by local communities, which often led to a halt in operation.
"The local community needs to cooperate with investors. Most of them often disturb our operations in exchange for some amount of money," said Abdul Wahab Maskan, chief executive officer for Malaysian plantation giant Guthrie Group.
Maskan also emphasized the need for the Indonesian government to extend plantation concessions to encourage more Malaysian investors.
Thanks to his family connections, we can asume Kalla will sort these problems out.With the creation of the alliance, Indonesia and Malaysia should be able to boost their bargaining power in setting CPO prices and in controlling output so as to maintain higher prices.
"This alliance could be categorized as a cartel as it will include the control of prices. The two countries can do that as they account most of the world's CPO production," Halim Kalla, chairman for the Malaysian business department at the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin), told The Jakarta Post.
Halim, who is the younger brother of Vice President Kalla and a top executive at the family-owned Hadji Kalla Group, said Kadin would help Malaysian investors seeking plantation land and business partners for developing CPO plantations in Indonesia.
The partnership between Malaysia and Indonesia is nicely symbiotic as, according to Rabobank in Singapore more Malaysian plantation firms, unable to find opportunities to expand at home, are putting their money in Indonesia which is aggressively pushing palm oil production to use its vast tracks
(sic) of unused land.
Vast tracts of unused land? Is this the virgin forest which the Rainforest Portal and WWF think has been saved or could it be all those hectares deforested to feed the world's hunger for wood
?In 2004 Britain was Indonesia's largest trading partner in Europe for timber products, importing about $145-million worth of timber products, Greenpeace said in a statement.
"Prime Minister Blair and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono will talk about security threats, but they should not forget that one of the most serious threats to Indonesia is the destruction of our forests from which up to 50-million Indonesians rely for food and livelihood," forestry campaigner Hapsoro said.
,I've heard that gas-powered lawn mowers, despite their small engine size, actually pollute as much as cars. If this is true, is there a greener way to cut my grass?