Coffee habitats being depleted
As reported by Reuters, during the early part of this decade, El Salvador lost thousands of acres of "coffee forest" at a time when world coffee prices were severely depressed:
"Between 2001 and 2004, the country lost 21,025 hectares of forest-covered coffee farms, Mario Acosta, president of El Salvador's Foundation for Coffee Research (Procafe), said.
El Salvador last year planted around 161,000 hectares of coffee, the vast majority of it grown on wooded plantations.
With the greatest population density and smallest land size in Central America, El Salvador was long ago cleared of virtually all its native forest. Coffee farms, where bourbon variety coffee trees flourish under a thick shade canopy, provide 75 percent of El Salvador's remaining forest cover.
'Just in the period between 2001 and 2004, we lost 21,025 hectares with the accompanying environmental degradation, with the problems this means for watersheds and all the problems of unemployment in the countryside,' Acosta told reporters at the opening of a regional conference on the role of the coffee industry in the environment.
The dramatic losses took place during a sustained period of record-low coffee prices which led many farmers to abandon their land, in some cases ceding it to encroaching urban expansion." (more)