"Nichts mehr davon, ich bitt euch. Zu essen gebt ihm, zu wohnen.
Habt ihr die Blöße bedeckt, gibt sich die Würde von selbst."
Friedrich Schiller
  July 2008 FOOD

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 world."

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.