Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sumatran Coffee Contributes to Tiger Extinction

There are so many critically endangered species on this planet, it's like a horror story come to life.  When I consider the likely inevitability that we will lose the polar bear, sea turtles, the North Atlantic right whale, the giant panda, the orang-utan, the elephant, many frogs and the tiger, amongst countless others, I just want to cry. 

© WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY
© WWF-Canon / Martin HARVEY
Speaking of tigers, the World Wildlife Federation says here, "This is clearly an emergency: if nothing is done, tigers will disappear from the wild within the next decade."  You know what I learned from reading this article?  This just kills me... I can hardly believe I've been contributing to the decline in tiger habitat on a regular basis.  You know how?  I've been drinking Sumatran coffee.  The WWF says here and in this report that, "[i]llegally grown coffee in Sumatra is driving the destruction of tiger habitat... Watch where your coffee comes from – and choose coffee grown according to environmentally friendly principles." Further reading on the topic warns that even Sumatran coffee supposedly grown on already deforested land gets illegally mixed by the growers with coffee grown in protected tiger habitat.  (For the record, Starbucks denies buying beans from Lampung, the area of Indonesia in question.)  Here is more information on what needs to be done to save what is left of the tiger population, which is possibly down to 3,200 individuals in the wild.

1 in 10 species worldwide are predicted to be extinct by 2100 due to global warming, according to University of Exeter research.  This is not the future we want for our generations to come!  Dr. Robert Wilson of the University of Exeter says, ""We need to act now to prevent threatened species from becoming extinct. This means cutting carbon emissions and protecting species from the other threats they face, such as habitat loss and pollution."  

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