The future of cacao in a changing world

Fellow Ivon Cuadros presented an e-poster entitled The future of cacao in a changing world on 17 December 2021 at the 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology (ICCB 2021).


Reduced rates of crop production and stagnant yields are deteriorating global food security across the world. The effects of the degradation of natural resources including pollinators decline, pest outbreaks, droughts and eroded soils are overpassing human’s capacity to produce enough quality food for all. At the same time, there is increasing evidence of the essential role of biodiversity to keep multiple ecosystem functions that are critical to food production. Despite this, nature’s input continues to be overlooked by agricultural scenarios, compromising the possibility to achieve the Zero hunger – Sustainable development goal. Through a systematic review of wild pollinators of cacao, I measured crop susceptibility to declining pollinators. Based on species’ ecological requirements, and a combination of spatial records and environmental variables, I modeled current and future habitat suitability of cacao pollinators under different scenarios of land use and climate change. The model highlights African countries under a major risk of disruption due to a pollination gap. Landscape management actions that support the long-term sustainable production of cacao through the conservation of biodiversity are also defined.

[E-poster] Cuadros, I. (2021) The future of cacao in a changing world , 30th International Congress for Conservation Biology, online.