Protecting nature, preserving biodiversity

Project description

Title: Conservation and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources in Ethiopia: Biodiversity
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia
Overall term: 2021 to 2024

Staff member at the tree nursery in Gerese – copyright: GIZ/Mulugeta Gebrekidan

Context

The population of Ethiopia is growing steadily, and so too is the demand for natural resources. Illegal and unsustainable use of resources is leading to the severe degradation of nature conservation areas and forests. This is endangering ecosystems which are vital to preserving the livelihoods of local communities, for example by providing clean water and fertile soil. Up to now, however, the contribution that these ecosystems make has gone largely unnoticed by the local population. Instead, conservation areas are often perceived as obstacles to development. In addition to this, there are gaps in financing within the administration system, which make it harder to manage nature conservation areas effectively.

View over the ground water forest in Nech Sar National Park - copyright: GIZ/Karin Allgoewer

Objective

The project is supporting the relevant institutions in managing nature conservation areas and forests sustainably in cooperation with actors from other sectors and taking the interests of local communities into consideration.

In the forests of Chebera Churchura National Park – copyright: GIZ/Karin Allgoewer

Approach

In order to preserve biodiversity in Ethiopia, efforts are being made to raise awareness of its value as a basis for people’s livelihoods. In addition, institutions responsible for the management of conservation areas and forests are being given support in the form of digital solutions to create a framework for the sustainable involvement of the private sector in the financing and management of these areas.

The project is promoting cooperation within conservation area management across various sectors. The aim of this is to ensure that the social, economic and environmental aspects of the relationship between conservation areas and neighbouring communities are viewed in a holistic way. 

Families who live in immediate proximity to the areas concerned are being offered legal, climate-resilient alternative forms of income by way of assistance. In addition, mechanisms are being introduced to systematically include local communities in decision-making processes. This promotes mutual understanding and takes their interests into account. Women in particular are being taken into consideration, as they are dependent on these resources for taking care of their families, yet are also often excluded from decision-making due to traditional roles.

Last updated: November 2021

A Silk Thread of Hope