Many of us sit down with a cup of coffee and surf the internet for news on the environment; however, our daily latte may be harbouring an environmental disaster all of its very own. It appears that illegally-grown coffee plantations have begun to encroach on the natural habitats of the Sumatran rhino, tiger and elephant. This illegal forest conversion is actually taking place within Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Sumatra, which has been designated a World Heritage site.
The current situation in Sumatra has been documented in a World Wide Fund for Nature report entitled Gone in an instant: How the trade in illegally grown coffee is driving the destruction of rhino, tiger and elephant habitat. According to the report, the National Park is one of the most important forest areas for the Sumatran tiger in South-East Asia and is home to a quarter of all Sumatran rhinos and elephants.
The WWF report concludes that the endangered elephants, tigers and rhinos will only be able to survive if coffee production is moved out of the park and their habitat is restored; a comprehensive package of activities is suggested to achieve this.