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Stefanie Brandes, Ashebir Wondimu , Svane Bender
Forests in Southwest (SW) Ethiopia have been greatly degraded and reduced, leading to isolated forest patches, preventing gene flow of the forests’ flora and fauna, and reducing ecosystem services. This, in turn, increases the vulnerability of forests and two million people of forest dependent communities. To maintain SW Ethiopia’s valuable high forests as carbon sinks, habitats, sustainable livelihood sources and long-term ecosystem service suppliers, NABU and their project partner Ethio Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (EWNRA) are implementing a capacity building and forest landscape restoration (FLR) project (2020 – 2022) in three zones of Ethiopia’s Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region: Bench-Sheko, Kafa and Sheka Zones. FLR demands strong collaboration of different actors, which needs improvement in SW Ethiopia’s forest sector. Hence, the project established the Southwest Forest Alliance platform to increase the exchange, capacity building and effective coordination towards FLR implementation. This happens through conducting participatory restoration potential assessments to identify suitable FLR options for the project sites; and enhancing the communities’ capacities in sustainably managing forests and improving their livelihoods. We expect joint measures for FLR and conservation; updated maps of SW Ethiopia’s land cover/forest status; Forest Action Plans as community-based tools for FLR implementation and sustainable income resources; and the direct capacity support of over 2,000 community members. The project will not only contribute to forest conservation, hence, climate adaptation and livelihood improvement, but also build a basis for follow-up, larger scale activities beyond our project sites. The outcomes will furthermore support Ethiopia’s 15 million hectare FLR commitment.
Conference Presentation, SER2021
Pre-approved for CECs under SER's CERP program