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Popular Coffee Species Facing Extinction17.01.2019

Experts from the Kew Royal Botanic Gardens are warning that over half of wild coffee species are facing extinction, asserting that currently deployed conservation efforts are insufficient to stave off the process.

Two research papers published on January 16 in two science journals, Science Advancesand and Global Change Biology, discuss the impact of climate change on coffee production in Ethiopia, the coffee plant’s country of origin and currently the biggest exporter of Arabica and Robusta beans. The situation in Ethiopia is widely considered a good prognosticator for what can be expected for other coffee-exporting countries, such as Brazil or Colombia.  

As it turns out, nearly 60% of lands used in Ethiopia for coffee cultivation could become unsuitable for farming by century’s end. Scientists confirm that not only will climate change-driven deterioration of tropical forests and arable land in Africa deprive coffee drinkers of their beloved brew, it will also drive unemployment numbers up across the globe. According to latest estimates, the coffee industry employs over 100 million people worldwide, with around fifteen million in Ethiopia alone.

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