Climate change and deforestation are putting more than half the world’s wild coffee species at risk of extinction, including the popular commercial coffees Arabica and Robusta, scientists warned on Wednesday.
Research published by experts at Britain’s Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew found that current conservation measures for wild coffee species are not enough to protect their long-term future.
He said targeted action is urgently needed in specific tropical countries, particularly in Africa and particular in forested areas which are being hit hard by climate change.
“As temperatures increase and rainfall decreases – the suitable area for growing … diminishes,” Davis told Reuters.
He noted the findings were not just important for coffee drinkers. “There are many countries which depend on coffee for the … bulk of their export earnings. It’s estimated there are 100 million people producing coffee in farms around the world.”