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Forest management in Bale eco-region

A man harvesting wild coffee. Forest communities sell coffee to earn a living from the forest sustainably. A man harvesting wild coffee. Forest communities sell coffee to earn a living from the forest sustainably.

Ethiopia’s Bale Mountains are a richly diverse but threatened environment. Driven by need, local people are fast depleting the forest – cutting down trees to clear land for crops and animal grazing, and to create firewood and charcoal to sell.

Deforestation badly affects wildlife and reduces water flow from the forests to lowlands, so Farm Africa’s work to protect the Bale forest could improve conditions for 12 million people living on arid land further downstream.

Watch this Guardian interview where our forestry expert, Tsegaye Tadessa, explains how we are working to reduce deforestation and carbon emissions. Tsegaye also explains what we are doing to bring together forestry communities with governments to jointly manage the forests and conserve its resources.

Sustaining the forest

Building on the success of our previous forest management work, Farm Africa is helping communities find new ways of earning a living from the forest’s natural resources that also protect the trees. For example, communities are:

  • developing traditional activities like beekeeping, producing essential oils, making bamboo furniture and harvesting wild coffee
  • using fuel-efficient stoves made from local materials, greatly reducing demand for firewood to cook with
  • working with local government to develop forest management plans that will protect the local environment and preserve their home for future generations.

We are helping the government design a pilot project to protect 500,000 hectares of forest as part of the REDD+ scheme (Reducing Emissions for Degradation and Deforestation). This means Ethiopia could benefit from important work to preserve the forest, avoiding further emissions of carbon, and slowing climate change.

Who are we helping?

Around 21,000 households are now making a living from the forest resources through activities like honey production and raffia weaving.

A further 80,000 people in the region will benefit from the increased economic prosperity.

Who are we working with?

Farm Africa is implementing this work in partnership with local NGO SOS Sahel.

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