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Why Shade Coffee Does Not Guarantee Biodiversity Conservation.

César Tejeda-Cruz, Escuela de Ingeniería Ambiental, Universidad de Ciencias y Artes de Chiapas; Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Universidad Veracruzana
Evodia Silva-Rivera, Centro de Investigaciones Tropicales, Universidad Veracruzana
Jonathan R Barton, Instituto de Estudios Urbanos y Territoriales, Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile
William J Sutherland, Department of Zoology, University of Cambridge


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Over the past decade, various strategies have emerged to address critical habitat losses through agricultural expansion. The promotion of shade-grown, premium-priced coffee has been highlighted as one alternative. Our research, based on interviews with farmers in Chiapas, disputes some of the assumptions made by shade coffee campaigners. Results revealed a predisposition to converting forest to shade coffee production due to the socioeconomic challenges farmers face and the potential for increasing incomes. To ensure that their well-being is improved at the same time as reducing environmental impacts, there is clearly a need to provide more detailed information on who is responsible for enforcing certification criteria and how this should take place.

Key words

alternative coffee; conservation; biodiversity; Mexico
Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087