• Germany's news in English

Thirst for coffee kills animals worldwide

The Local · 7 Jun 2012, 17:02

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

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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.

Story continues below…

The Local/DAPD/bk

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

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

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...


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.
Today's headlines
Eurowings braces as cabin crew union proclaims strike
Photo: DPA

A union representing cabin crew for Lufthansa's budget airline Eurowings announced that strikes could take place at any time over the next two weeks, starting on Monday.

Mysterious German U-boat wreckage found off Scotland
Photo: ScottishPower

First World War U-boat "attacked by sea monster” thought to be found off Scottish coast.

Supermarket Edeka warns of exploding apple juice bottles
Photo: DPA

"Risk of injury" from "Gut und Günstig" sparkling apple juice bottles has forced Germany's largest supermarket to recall the product.

By wheelchair from Syria to Germany: teen's story of hope
Nujeen Mustafa. Photo: HarperCollins-William Collins Publicity/Private

She tackled the gruelling 2,000-kilometre migrant trail in a wheelchair, translating along the way for other refugees using English she learned from a US soap opera. Now this teen is living in Germany and hoping to inspire others with a newly published memoir.

Berlin Zoo to have a pair of pandas by next summer
A recently born panda pair at Vienna Zoo. Photo: DPA

The giant bamboo-eating bears will move into a brand new 5,000 square-metre enclosure in the capital's Zoologischer Garten.

Two new spider species discovered in Munich
Zoropsis spinimana. Photo: rankingranqueen / Wikimedia Commons

It's news every arachnophobe in Munich is no doubt thrilled to hear: two types of spider new to the region have been discovered in the Bavarian capital - and one of them bites!

After woman's body found in barrel, husband may walk free
Franziska S., who went missing 24 years ago. Photo: Hanover police.

A woman disappeared in Hanover 24 years ago, but no one reported her missing. Although her husband has now confessed to her murder, he still may not step foot in jail.

Two injured after army tank falls 50 metres in Alps
A Bundeswehr Puma tank. File photo: DPA

A Bundeswehr (German army) soldier has been severely injured after the tank he was riding in crashed 50 metres down an embankment after going off course in bad weather.

Teen girl stands trial for 'Isis' police stabbing in Hanover
Police guard the courthouse in Celle. Photo: DPA

A teenage girl stands trial from Thursday in Germany for stabbing a police officer, an assault allegedly "ordered" by Isis but which was not claimed by the jihadist group.

Merkel threatens Putin with more sanctions on Berlin visit
Angela Merkel and Vladimir Putin in Berlin. Photo: DPA

Chancellor Angela Merkel created a united front with French President Francois Hollande in Berlin on Thursday to denounce Russia’s “war crimes” in Syria.

Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
10 things you never knew about socialist East Germany
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
How Germans fell in love with America's favourite squash
How I ditched London for Berlin and became a published author
Sponsored Article
How to vote absentee from abroad in the US elections
12 clever German idioms that'll make you sound like a pro
23 fascinating facts you never knew about Berlin
9 unmissable events to check out in Germany this October
10 things you never knew about German reunification
10 things you're sure to notice after an Oktoberfest visit
Germany's 10 most Instagram-able places
15 pics that prove Germany is absolutely enchanting in autumn
10 German films you have to watch before you die
6 things about Munich that’ll stay with you forever
10 pieces of German slang you'll never learn in class
Ouch! Naked swimmer hospitalized after angler hooks his penis
Six reasons why Berlin is now known as 'the failed city'
15 tell-tale signs you’ll never quite master German
7 American habits that make Germans very, very uncomfortable
Story of a fugitive cow who outwitted police for weeks before capture
Eleven famous Germans with surnames that'll make your sides split
The best ways to get a visa as an American in Germany
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd