Book chapter / Coffee, Climate and Biodiversity in Wayanad

Nadesa Panicker Anil Kumar, Amsad Ibrahim Khan Saleem Khan and Vaniyan Balakrishnan. 2018. “Coffee, Climate and Biodiversity: Understanding the Carbon Stocks of the Shade Coffee Production System of India,” in Walter Leal Filho, Jelena Barbir and Richard Preziosi (eds). Handbook of Climate Change and Diversity. Singapore: Springer, pp. 113-134.

Abstract: In the light of climate change, the ecosystem services of traditionally maintained shaded Arabica coffee farms become prominent largely for increasing carbon removal. The most important function of the shade-grown coffee agroforestry system is the reduction of the concentration of Carbon in the atmosphere.  It is estimated that one-hectare shade-grown coffee farm with large forest trees can sequester 70–80 tonnes of carbon per hectare, which is more or less equivalent to the carbon stored in an equal area of forest.

A full sun–grown or open coffee in one hectare can only store less than 10 tonnes of carbon. “Monsooned Malabar Arabica Coffee is a specialty coffee of India, sourced from shade coffee plantation and has geographical indication (GI) protection. Shade grown coffee also serves as a refuge for biodiversity and its diverse and complex structure has a high potential to retain biodiversity in the changing climate scenarios.

In this context, this paper discusses the nexus of coffee, climate and biodiversity and its implications with Wayanad, Kerala, India as a case study. This paper emphasizes the need for promoting sustainable production and consumption of coffee as a carbon neutral brand and promotion of shade grown, biodiversity rich and climate resilient coffee can emerge as a highly valued commodity in the world coffee market.

Attempts at revival of the shade grown coffee system amongst the small growers with appropriate steps in marketing the coffee as a specialty product (carbon neutral and grown in bio-diverse environment) are discussed.

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Reposted from Kerala Scholars eGroup