SUSTAINABLE MANAGEMENT OF OIL PALM PLANTATION INDUSTRY AND THE PERCEPTION IMPLICATIONS
Aikanathan S, Basiron Y, Sundram K, Chenayah S and Sasekumar A

Abstract
The palm oil plantation industry in Malaysia has been striving to make production sustainable and the industry stakeholders have set-up various sustainability certification schemes for palm oil. Perception of the industry from the media, Non-government Organizations (NGOs) and social groups seem to indicate that palm oil is generally not sustainable, and the industry thus should reduce any expansion policies it may harbour. This study reviewed perception trends with regards to oil palm plantations in Malaysia, and analysed the related variables that are important for palm oil production in the country. A perception survey of 742 stakeholders was carried out and the analysis shows stakeholders regard different issues as important for their respective groups. The perception for the growers and traders/manufactures indicated that their actual behaviour does not tally with the views of environmental NGOs and media. Although the industry has established its principles and criteria which are the backbone of the certification schemes, stakeholders still differ in their perception towards palm oil. The perception issues are linked with a lack of measurable variables for sustainability, which were considered not important previously. The overall conclusion shows that sustainable science is an important element for oil palm management. However it is still perceived that a number of additional measurable variables could be adopted by the industry, to assist in properly quantifying sustainability.
30 April, 2015
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