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Thirst for coffee kills animals worldwide
Photo: DPA

Thirst for coffee kills animals worldwide

Published: 07 Jun 2012 17:02 GMT+02:00
Updated: 07 Jun 2012 17:02 GMT+02:00

Germany's appetite for coffee, cocoa and other consumer goods is responsible for the threat to 395 species of animals and plants around the world, according to a new survey that connects international trade to biodiversity.

A report, published in the scientific journal Nature, said that Germany's import trade is the third most destructive in the world, after the US and Japan.

Carried out by an international team of researchers, the study found that the hunger for consumer goods has particularly hit ecosystems in developing countries - especially Papua New Guinea, Madagascar, and Indonesia. These countries are rich in the raw materials for consumer goods that the developed world consumes rapidly.

Several species are known to be under threat because the Central American forests where they live are increasingly being turned into coffee and cocoa plantations for export to Europe and the US.

"Our results show clearly that local biodiversity is being threatened across the world by markets and consumer demands," wrote Barney Foran of Sydney University, one the scientists behind the study.

"Most industrialised countries leave a large part of their biodiversity footprint outside their own country, through their consumption of coffee, tea, sugar, textiles and other products," he continued. As much as 44 percent of Germany's biodiversity footprint, for instance, is outside its borders.

The researchers studied the trade routes of more than 15,000 consumer goods in 187 countries. They then compared the results with a list of the 25,000 most endangered species produced by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

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Your comments about this article

18:11 June 7, 2012 by Leo Strauss
1 A warning to all animals out there, including Mr. Frosted Flakes: Get between me and my coffee and I will kill.

2 If American imports are destructive, then what superlative is left to describe American exports?
15:50 June 8, 2012 by radonrain
America still exports?
18:40 June 8, 2012 by raandy
Reading the article, I get the feeling that the consumer nations of coffee,and other goods are being painted as the sinister culprits of bio diversity.

I am sure that the sellers of these products would be willing to discontinue this lucrative practice when they realize how the local bio diversity is being effected.
20:02 June 8, 2012 by nedmesis
Overpopulation our biggest problem. No country is without guilt.
02:36 June 9, 2012 by BorninDachau
Do not worry my German cousins, once again much ado about nothing. We quit drinking coffee, then the people in these countries suffer. Or some other country will drink the coffee or buy the sugar or the cloth for clothes. It is a world economy too late to stop now.
15:16 June 9, 2012 by Bruno53
This is REALLY RIDICULOUS!!! We have been drinking coffee and chocolate for decades!!!! Now you tell us that????? Again, RIDICULOUS! And I am NOT quiting my coffee. I am no Mormon like this guy Mitt Rodney.
17:09 June 9, 2012 by Leo Strauss
@Bruno53

Brun, you need to chill G. No one is going to keep you from all that delicious brown (Brun) stuff that makes you happy, not even that tiger. But Brun, looks like you need to reduce your caffeine intake a little bit. Ease back on the all CAPS cuz we hear you Lima Charlie. Click the safety back on, G. That`s good, soldier.

And Brun, never get off the boat...

@nedmesis

UN Agenda 21, n. Not good. You need to stop watching the late night end of the world dokus and PSYOP apocalyptic scenarios. Overpopulation has been a scam from Malthus, through Darwin up to now. It is mismanagement and greed by the few that is doing us, my friend.

Our betters want to reduce the worlds pop from 7 to 2 billion. Ted Turner said that at Bilderberg last weekend.

Hmmm. How`s that gonna happen?

By the way, nothing could make them happier than for you to begin solving their so-called `problem` by starting with yourself.

Don`t do it, G. :)
13:51 June 10, 2012 by gtaglia
This, like most publicized "scientific" studies, is little more than political propaganda. A study can be found to affirm any side of any controversy and most tend to reflect the opinions of those who are paying for the study to be undertaken. One must be sceptical of such pronouncements and apply a bit of common sense.
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