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Is Our Daily Cup of Coffee Still Under Threat in 2017?

Is Our Daily Cup of Coffee Still Under Threat in 2017?

In 2012, research scientists warned that wild Arabica coffee could be extinct by the year 2080.

The bleak message was delivered in a paper written by scientists at London’s Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and Ethiopia’s Environment and Coffee Forest Forum. It confirmed climate change as an overwhelming threat to the sites where wild Arabica grows and predicted that the best case (but most unlikely) scenario is a 38% reduction in localities suitable for growing this important species.

The most probable outcome? A massive 65-99.7% loss of growing sites. That’s without taking account of the widespread deforestation in the highlands of South Sudan and Ethiopia.

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The Key to Sustainable Coffee

It’s unlikely that any of the Arabica you drink in your daily brew comes from the wild. According to ethical coffee supplier Honest Coffees, almost all commercially traded coffee is grown in cooperatives.

But the importance of wild Arabica goes way beyond the here and now: it’s the key to the variety’s future. Cultivated coffee doesn’t have enough genetic diversity necessary to cope with attacks from diseases and pests, a diversity which is found only in wild populations.

Think of wild Arabica as a reservoir of genetic flexibility, allowing farmers to re-engineer plantation coffee if necessary. But don’t imagine this is a theoretical scenario – in 2013, a bad case of the coffee leaf rust fungus caused a 20% drop in Central American coffee production.

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Pestilence is only one threat faced by cultivated coffee. Over the coming decades, climate change will also affect plantations in the major coffee-producing countries.

Safeguarding Coffee’s Future

Because Ethiopia is the ancestral home of Arabica coffee, that’s the only place you’ll find truly genetically diverse coffee plants. No wild Ethiopian Arabica, no sustainable coffee.

That’s why it makes sense to concentrate the majority of coffee conservation efforts on Ethiopia. This is exactly what the teams in London and Addis Ababa did between 2013 and 2015.

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As part of a project funded by the UK, Denmark and Norway, scientists traveled to the places where wild Ethiopian Arabica grows. Their first aim was to find out whether coffee plants were already affected by climate change.

What they saw wasn’t encouraging: highland areas were already experiencing higher temperatures than normal, and the coffee plants they examined showed signs of heat stress and pest infestation.

Their second task was to predict the areas of Ethiopia that are likely to provide a suitable refuge for wild Arabica in the years to come. On a more optimistic note, the research team concluded that many high-altitude areas currently unsuitable for wild coffee could become more hospitable as climate change intensifies.

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On the whole, this undertaking was a success. By the time the project was wound up in 2015, it had produced helpful data that can be used to conserve wild Arabica.

Is Our Daily Cup of Coffee Still Under Threat?

Things are looking up, but the fate of coffee is still at risk. If enough populations of wild Arabica can be transplanted to higher ground, we can at least be sure of some kind of future for our favorite drink.

But the future of the coffee industry as a whole looks more complicated. Not every coffee-producing country will be able to shift whole plantations to higher altitudes, and we can expect coffee farms of the future to be less productive than those of today.

That’s why sustainable coffee is something everybody needs to be aware of. As consumers, we have power, and our choices will impact upon the survival of this amazing plant.

And on whether or not future generations get to enjoy a daily cup of Joe. So make the right choices.

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Lanre Onibalusi

Blogger, Freelance Writer

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Is It Necessary To Follow Traffic Rules?

Is It Necessary To Follow Traffic Rules?

On a daily basis, we constantly hear news about different forms of road accidents, either because of some stupid drivers who recklessly drives their vehicle, over-speeding, and the list goes on. The dumbest mistakes people ever make we put all the blame to our government – for providing insufficient funds to spend with road widening, infrastructure upgrades, better traffic system, and best walkie-talkie[1] or radar speed gun for law enforcement. The lack of employment, low quality of education, corruption, sudden increase of necessity prices, and the unfinished road construction projects. Sometimes, we, as citizens, often forget that we also play a very important role in the chain process, and thus we should not put all the blame to our government.

Common Sense

There is no point denying that it is actually the government’s role to provide us good road and road signs. But if citizens do not actually follow these traffic rules as the basis of standards, how can they ever guarantee our safety? Yes, you may excuse yourself for not knowing the standard safety measures, but come on! We are not children anymore. Simple 1-2-3’s and a little common sense will do.

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Motorcycles

Owning a car or a motorcycle is great; it helps keep us on track in our fast paced lives. But, if we do not abide by the simple safety driving procedures, you definitely are at risk. In 2012, Los Angeles County alone, 59% motorcyclists were killed. This is more than 2010. And by 2013, California ranked third for motorcycle fatalities.[2] Thus, it is very important to buckle up your belts, wear your helmet and follow the traffic lights and other street signs. They serves as a warning. There could be some dangerous road ahead or any untoward incidences, and once you will not follow this and take proper precaution, trouble always meet you ahead, either a severe accident or a police honking you to pull over. And you know what will happen next.

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Walking

People who lives some blocks away from their workplace usually prefer to take a walk instead of driving their vehicle. This could save them a considerable amount of money on fuel. Plus it is a great way to exercise. Even so, although you are simply walking, it still is important to follow the road traffic signs. Wait for the green signal before crossing the lane, no matter if you are in a hurry or not. A lot of road accidents happen because some passersby merely doesn’t follow the traffic light signals. Also, do not forget to walk only in between the white lanes, or the so-called pedestrian lines.

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Final Thoughts

The issues and problems on the roads will never be resolve and forever will stay unless the citizens truly realize how necessary it is to follow traffic rules and regulations. As drivers, we are suppose to stay on our right lane, steer at the right speed, and follow every traffic sign. As pedestrian walkers, we are expected to cross at the right place, at the right time. If each party cooperates, we can achieve a harmonious flow of traffic.

Of course, we all live in an era where all of us are in a hurry and one simply cannot afford to waste time. But, being hasty can bring a lot more trouble and can basically cause more delay. There is no mad science to resolve road accidents or to keep ourselves safe and secure while on the streets. It all depends if all of us will submit to the traffic rules the government has set before us.

What are your thoughts about following traffic rules?

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Reference

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