Caffeinated Conservation: Colombian Farmers Switch Coca For Coffee To Protect Wildlife


SAN LUCAS MOUNTAINS, Colombia (Reuters) – In a clearing around his modest smallholding, farmer Arcadio Barajas stands before a sea of coffee plants, cloaked in the shadow cast by a wall of verdant forest that covers the San Lucas mountains of northern Colombia.

The San Lucas range is one of the most unexplored places in this South American nation, which is the world’s second most biodiverse country after neighboring Brazil. From its towering Andean peaks to its tropical islands and dense Amazon rainforest, Colombia is home to over 50,000 recorded species of animals and plants.

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