Summit of Eight Developing Muslim Nations Slams Biofuels
The group of eight developing Muslim nations,
known as the D-8, held their summit on July 7 in Kuala Lumpur,
Malaysia, where they strongly attacked biofuels and sought to
agree on positive coordinated action among themselves to deal
concretely with the food and energy crises.
According to Reuters, Malaysia and Indonesia told the summit
that they wanted to see an end to the conversion of arable land
for bio-fuel production. This countries are large producers of
palm oil, which is now being used as a raw material for producing
biofuel. Traditionally, it has been used mostly for cooking oil,
cosmetics, soap, and other non-fuel uses.
Calling for cooperation among the eight against biofuels,
Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said, "We must act
on it at once and in concert. To delay action on this great
challenge of our time is to court disaster."
Malaysian Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi warned,
"There is also a danger of the food crisis creating political
unrest in many societies. I think this meeting must come out with
a clear message on the need to boost food production in the
Malaysia is proposing joint investments in food-related
projects, including a fertilizer project. "If we can have a big
economic project, a big fertilizer project, as a D-8 project to
cater to the needs of its members as well as for exports, I think
that will be very good." Addressing the biofuel issue, Abdullah
said, "We must not allow the zeal for energy security to come
into direct conflict with the basic needs for food production."
Focussing on the energy crisis, Iranian President
Ahmadinejad proposed that member nations pool their resources to
create an energy cooperation agency. In addition, he suggested
that D-8 members set up joint investment bodies to help finance
joint ventures in industrial and agricultural areas.
Established in Istanbul in 1997 for the purpose of promoting
economic cooperation, the D-8 comprises Indonesia, Malaysia,
Bangladesh, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Egypt.