Palm oil is indigenous to the tropical belt area but has only recently spread across the world in an industrial context. The industry reputation suffers damage as a result of the necessary destruction it causes to tropical forest, in order to clear land for plantations. Environmental standards have been introduced to improve the sustainability of the industry, while scientists are revolutionising experimental design to assess the impact of forest clearing on tropical ecosystems. One country where palm oil production has been particularly devastating and become big business is Malaysia. I investigated these issues with those affected by the industries practice for my Msc Science Communication radio practical coursework.
By Polly Bennett. See more great posts from Polly at theoutsideroom.wordpress.com