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Malaysia’s Orangutan Diplomacy Faces Backlash
Malaysia’s Orangutan Diplomacy Faces Backlash0Malaysia’s recent proposal to use “orangutan diplomacy” to boost palm oil sales and the nation’s soft power has ignited fierce criticism from conservationists. At a biodiversity summit outside Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia’s Plantation and Commodities Minister Johari Abdul Ghani suggested gifting orangutans to major palm oil importers like the EU, India, and China, emulating China’s panda diplomacy.

Palm oil is an economic driver for Malaysia. However, the palm oil plantation industry’s expansion has caused significant deforestation, endangering the habitats of orangutans, the largest tree-dwelling animals. As such, conservationists argue that the “orangutan diplomacy” would be hypocritical and detrimental to wildlife conservation.

Stuart Pimm, chair of conservation ecology at Duke University, criticized the proposal as “obscene” and “repugnant.” He emphasized the significant difference between Malaysia’s plan and China’s comprehensive panda conservation efforts, which include state-of-the-art facilities and protected areas for wild panda populations.
Malaysia’s Orangutan Diplomacy Faces Backlash5
Environmental groups also condemned the plan, urging the government to focus on halting deforestation. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) reported that Malaysia lost over 8 million hectares of tree cover between 2001 and 2019 due to palm oil cultivation and logging. Climate watchdog Rimba Watch highlighted that 2.3 million hectares of Malaysian forests remain at risk.

Heng Kiah Chun of Greenpeace Southeast Asia stressed that genuine biodiversity conservation requires robust anti-deforestation policies. WWF Malaysia also advocated for improved forest management and sustainable palm oil production, emphasizing that protecting natural habitats is crucial for orangutan survival.



Amelia Moon
Staff Reporter
teen/1717119993/1613367697
 
인쇄기능입니다.
1. What has Malaysia recently proposed? What has Johari Abdul Ghani suggested?
2. What is said about palm oil in paragraph 2?
3. What did Stuart Pimm say about the proposal?
4. How did environmental groups respond to the plan?
 
1. What can you do in Malaysia? Would you visit the country? Explain.
2. What are some things that palm oil is used to make?
3. What do you think of Malaysia's orangutan diplomacy?
4. What are some ways to halt deforestation and preserve biodiversity?
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