Skip to main contentAccess keys helpA-Z index
BBC Learning English Launch BBC Media Player
  • Help
  • Text only
 
You are in:Learning English > News English > Words in the News
 
Learning English - Words in the News
 
 
Illegal coffee threatens wildlife
 
Illegal coffee plantations in national park threatening wildlife
Indonesian coffee farmers mostly grow cheap robusta beans

The World Wildlife Fund says coffee, which is being grown illegally inside Bukit Barisan Selatan national park on Sumatra Island is being sold by well-known international coffee companies. Park officials are concerned about the possible effects on the endangered animals they are trying to protect. Lucy Williamson reports from Jakarta.

Listen to the story

According to WWF, more than three hundred thousand tons of tainted coffee left Indonesia in 2005. It says coffee grown illegally inside the national park is being sold to local traders who mix it with legally grown beans before exporting it to countries like Japan, Italy and the US.

The report says several well-known brands are involved. One company, Nestle, issued a statement saying it regrets such unacceptable activities and never willingly purchases coffee from dubious sources. But, the company said, it's often difficult to determine the precise origin of its coffee.

The head of the park told the BBC that some sixty thousand hectares - around a fifth of the park's total area - had been taken over by illegal plantations, most of them producing coffee. The park, which covers three hundred thousand hectares, is policed by only sixty rangers, he said, and around fifty community workers. Stopping the expansion of the plantations is all but impossible. Instead, he said officials are trying to entice farmers to move outside the park and to raise public awareness of the problem.

The area is home to some sixty tigers and around the same number of rhinos. Both species are endangered and park officials say destruction of their natural habitat by farmers is making them easier targets for hunters.

Listen to the words

tainted
made bad, spoiled, corrupted

brands
distinguishing symbols, marks, logos, etc. that companies use to make their products look different from others on the market

willingly
agreeing to do something without objecting; co-operating without complaining

dubious
open to doubt or suspicion

determine
to settle, decide, or be sure of (a dispute, question, etc.). In this case, it is difficult for coffee companies to be sure of exactly where the coffee beans they buy come from

plantations
large estates or farms on which crops are grown, often by workers who live on the estate or farm

rangers
people employed to maintain and protect a natural area, such as a forest or park, and the animals and plants that live in it

all but impossible
almost impossible

entice
to attract or encourage somebody to do something by offering a reward or benefit

natural habitat
the area or type of environment in which a particular kind of animal or plant usually lives


Do a comprehension quiz about this story

Teachers' Lesson Plan
Lesson planLesson plan based on this story (81k)
 
 
SEARCH IN LEARNING ENGLISH
 
 
 
LATEST STORIES
27 May, 2011
Destruction of smallpox virus delayed
25 May, 2011
Micro-finance 'misused and abused'
20 May, 2011
Lonely planets
18 May, 2011
Germany to invest in more electric cars
16 May, 2011
Argentina builds a tower of books
 
Other Stories