More than half of the world’s coffee is in danger of extinction

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Over half of the world’s coffee is at risk of extinction due to climate change, deforestation, disease and drought, according to a new study.

Researchers analyzed 124 species and found 75 species face the threat of extinction — with 13 considered critically endangered, 40 endangered and 22 classified as vulnerable. The findings werepublished in Science Advances and Global Change Biology.

“Overall, the fact that the extinction risk across all coffee species was so high — nearly 60 percent — that’s way above normal extinction risk figures for plants,” Aaron Davis, one of the study’s lead authors,told AFP.

For comparison, 6 percent of hazelnuts and 9 percent of pistachios face an extinction threat, in addition to about half of all wild tea and mango species.More than two billion cups of coffee are consumed around the world every day. The global trade relies on two species, Arabica and Robusta, the only two wild coffee beans we drink and both of which were listed among the endangered species.

But protecting and conserving the species not used for consumption is just as vital as they provide stability and diversity and could possibly serve as a genetic antidote against certain crop diseases.

 

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