The Malaysian Palm Oil Council (MPOC) is passionate about educating the public on the sustainability and biodiversity of oil palm plantations. That’s why it organized the World Palm Portraits Photography Competition (WPPPC). For the fourth year, WPPPC competitors entered stunning submissions, each capturing the lifestyle and sustainability of oil palm plantations, and showing an appreciation for the Malaysian palm oil industry itself.

WPPPC is an initiative to teach an appreciation of the palm oil industry as well as to educate the public on the biodiversity of plantations, life of the plantation workers and the multitude of palm oil applications in food and non-food items. Submissions have increased steadily each year. This year, thousands of people entered photos. The categories were: Black and White; People and Portraits; Nature and Wildlife; Fine Art and Photo Manipulation; and Food and Products. On October 12th, eight people were honored as winners:

  • Edmond Teng Wei Ping: 1st prize, People and Portraits
  • Alif Setiawan: 2nd prize, People and Portraits
  • Andri Jasman Daulay: 1st prize, Nature and Wildlife
  • Lawrence Ling: 2nd prize, Nature and Wildlife
  • Izlan Somai: 1st prize, Black and White
  • Mega Mike Sabocohan: 2nd prize, Black and White
  • Muhammad Heza: 1st prize, Fine Art and Photo Manipulation
  • Azmatul Hazrin Abdul Kadir Pahirulzaman: 2nd prize, Fine Art and Photo Manipulation

Some of these winning photos, such as Alif Setiawan’s, demonstrate ways in which sustainability is achieved on Malaysia’s oil palm plantations. Alif’s award-winning photo features a worker maneuvering a boat filled with an oil palm crop down a postcard-worthy backdrop. No power boats here! Malaysia’s oil palm plantations conserve energy by relying on steam. They are as effective as rain forests in acting as a carbon sink to absorb carbon dioxide. Through Alif’s lens, it’s apparent that palm oil is produced in harmony with the nation’s amazing biodiversity.

Other winners, such as Muhammad Heza, capture more of the sustainable practices used in Malaysia. Muhammad’s photo manipulation centers on a barn owl, magnificent hunters that are used to control the rat populations on Malaysia’s oil palm plantations. They are a welcomed part of the Malaysian palm oil industry’s integrated pest management practices that enable farmers to reduce the use of harmful chemical pesticides.

For MPOC, these World Palm Portraits capture more than what can be put into words. Each picture represents a different aspect of palm oil production, and together they form a mural of biodiversity and sustainability.

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