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Pro-Café Protecting Eco-System Services for Sustainable Coffee Livelihoods

The Pro-Café project, funded by the Starbucks Foundation, will contribute to the protection of ecosystem services that support coffee growers, provide sustainable livelihoods, and create vital communities in the Guarinó River watershed in Caldas, Colombia.


Livelihoods and quality of life for rural coffee growing communities in the Guarinó River watershed in central Colombia are at risk as deteriorating environmental conditions caused by local anthropogenic environmental changes as well as global climate variations diminish the ecosystem services on which their livelihoods and well-being depend. As profitability of traditional coffee production and agricultural activities decreases, farmers adopt unsustainable practices which further deteriorate the natural environment. As the negative spiral continues, migration away from the coffee-producing communities is increasing, and conflict erupts over use and control of natural resources in the basin — in particular over water and land — threatening to reignite forced displacement in the region.

Objective #1

Sanitation infrastructure will be installed or existing infrastructure will be repaired to increase access to facilities and reduce non-point water resource contamination from human waste.

Objective #2

New coffee wet mill infrastructure will be installed and existing infrastructures will be optimized at on-farm processing sites to prevent water resource contamination from coffee processing.

Objective #3

Local community will implement WASH best practices to reduce water related disease, improve well-being and protect water resources.

Objective #4

Vulnerable and environmentally damaging agriculture production systems are converted to diversifying and resilient systems based on principles of agroforestry, soil conservation, and integrated pest management.