The Birds & the Bees, Except in Latin America and With Coffee Instead of Birds

The Birds & the Bees, Except in Latin America and With Coffee Instead of Birds

Matthew Moskowitz, Journalist

In addition to the bee population continuing to fall, our precious coffee could now be at the brink of safety. The decline in the bee population, as a whole, can be contributed to by the effects of climate change, especially in Latin America. While the world’s coffee lovers are predominantly those who will be at stake, the farmers who depend on the crop’s output will become vulnerable after the likely economic disaster. For example, the majority of coffee-farmers in Mexico and Guatemala rely on the income produced by their revenue generated by the crop. Overall, the effects of climate change threaten the “livelihood” of millions of the world’s vulnerable communities through ways that don’t come to mind initially like the potential decline in coffee.

 

The Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont found that Latin America is the world’s largest coffee-producing region and could see an 88 percent decline by the year 2050 with Honduras, Nicaragua and Venezuela taking the biggest hits. The Gund Institute’s research has found that about ten species of bees have dropped in population in 80 percent of the growing areas of the region. However, bees, as a whole, can potentially offset some of the dangerous effects that climate change carries by the increase in coffee production. The director of the Gund Institute Taylor Ricketts has said that the bee population and other pollinators contributes to two-thirds of the planet’s “most-valuable commodities” which can easily be appraised at tens of billions of dollars each year. The pollinating insects are seen as the “silent heroes” of the earth’s food system.