- Camera traps installed by WCS have confirmed the presence of the Andean bear on coffee farms that have subscribed to conservation agreements owned by Sandia's coffee-growing families producing coffee sustainably.
The coffee produced in Sandia, a province of the Puno Region in Peru, is one of the most recognized and valued in the world for its quality and flavor. However, a less-known fact is that there is effort, commitment, and responsibility to the environment behind every cup of coffee. The Quechua and Aymara coffee-growing families are committed to implementing good agricultural practices that conserve Yunga's forests in the Puno Amazonian region.
Recently, camera traps installed in these forests by the WCS Peru team have registered the presence of the Andean bear, an emblematic and endangered species in Peru. In 2022, an evaluation of the Andean bear conducted by WCS determined that the conservation status of this species in the region is adequate due to its high levels of occupation and habitat use. As a species with broad spatial requirements, a specialized diet, and a high sensitivity to threats, the conserved forests in Sandia are vital for Andean bear conservation.
WCS is implementing Conservation Agreements with coffee-growing families to promote forest conservation and harmonious coexistence between bears and coffee farmers. These are voluntary commitments whereby the coffee-growing families agree not to devastate the forests on their farms, and WCS commits to supporting them in increasing the productivity and quality of their coffee plantations.
To date, we have signed 50 conservation agreements that secure the conservation of nearly 350 hectares of forest, which will have had an average annual increase of 30% in productivity in 3 years. Through these experiences, we have demonstrated that this mechanism ensures the sustainable production of high-quality coffee for the benefit of the coffee-growing families and simultaneously conserves the forests and the Andean bear populations.
Buying conservation coffee is a responsible way of consuming and enjoying this exquisite beverage, supporting rural development and biodiversity conservation. WCS is committed to a model of coffee production that, based on good soil and coffee plantation management, does not require further deforestation. Instead, it provides more benefits for coffee-growing families due to specialized coffee production certified as organic and fair trade. By purchasing Sandia's conservation coffees, companies and consumers support environmentally responsible producers, forest conservation, and the survival of the Andean bears living in it.
This work is made possible by the generous support of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation.