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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

Copyright © 2010 by the author(s). Published here under license by The Resilience Alliance. This article is under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. You may share and adapt the work provided the original author and source are credited, you indicate whether any changes were made, and you include a link to the license.

Ecology and Society. ISSN: 1708-3087