Palm oil plantations in Liberia – are buffer zones the answer?

Elaeis guineensis

Elaeis guineensis

Ahead of the launch of a report by Geoff Griffiths and Ruth Evans on the environmental and social impacts of a proposed Palm Oil plantation in Liberia, Geoff featured in two interviews for the BBC World Service.

The Newsday interview was broadcast at 6am on Monday 24 June (55 minutes into the programme). Listen to the Newsday programme (available until 29 June.)

The World Business Report with Mike Johnson, a ‘head-to-head’ between Geoff and a representative from Sime Darby (Malaysia Palm Oil Company) was broadcast at 22:32 on Monday 24 June (15.35 minutes into the programme).   Listen to the World Business Report programme.

“Our work suggests that buffer zones of 1 to 4 km around local settlements would help local people retain farmland and some access to forest resources. Our innovative environmental assessment also identifies key areas for biodiversity, carbon storage, water supply and livelihoods. Protecting such areas would help to reduce negative impacts.” says Geoff. Read more on

Read the full report: Palm oil, land rights and ecosystem services in Gbarpolu County, Liberia

Read about Geoff

Read about Ruth

Photo credit: Marco Schmidt / / CC BY-SA

Dr Steve Musson comments on recent high street failures on BBC News

SteveMusson_0680-wDr Steve Musson appeared on the BBC News Channel on Wednesday 16 January 2013, commenting on the recent wave of high street retailers entering administration. His analysis was also reported on BBC News Online, the Daily Mail, This is Money and other online technology sites.

Steve said: “The retail businesses that we have seen going into administration since Christmas have a lot in common – they have large numbers of stores, and have struggled to adapt to changing retail habits. Rents for retail businesses are usually payable quarterly, with many landlords most recently asking for payment on Christmas Day, which is why we often see retail failures coming in clusters.”

Link to BBC News Online story

Read about Steve Musson