Coffee Farms in Chiapas, Mexico

January 1, 2007 by Gregory Gough

Map of Chiapas in Mexico

In some parts of Latin America, deforestation is so severe that coffee farms provide a last refuge for biodiversity.

Eight coffee cooperatives in the highlands of Chiapas, Mexico were surveyed for birds, butterflies, ants, and vegetation.

Some of the cooperatives were certified Fair Trade or Organic while others lacked any certification. None had shade certification (such as Bird Friendly®), but they all had trees shading the coffee shrubs.

The habitat provided by the rustic coffee farms proved to be beneficial to plants and animals and was similar to, although not quite as good as, nearby forest remnants.

This article summarizes the information in this scientific paper:

Philpott, S. M., Bichier, Peter, Rice, Robert and Greenberg, Russell S. 2007. Field-testing ecological and economic benefits of coffee certification programs. Conservation Biology, 21(4): 975-985.

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