Bale Mountains REDD+ Project: A pioneer forest management initiative


Bale Mountains Eco region (pictured, above) is one of the two main tropical forest blocks remaining in Ethiopia


Forest in Ethiopia has strategic importance to the development of the national economy. This is particularly true for agriculture, energy and tourism. However, deforestation and degradation are posing a serious threat.

Sources indicate that deforestation is costing Ethiopia six per cent of its forest annually. If the trend continues, the country will loose 84,000 ha. forest within the next 20 years.

According to Ministry of Environment and Forest Ethiopian Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+ ) Secretariat report, degradation and deforestation have a serious impact on the country’s surface and ground resources.

About 15 per cent of greenhouse gas emission is caused by deforestation and forest degradation, according to the report. Climate Change caused by human induce emissions of greenhouse gases is now recognized as one of the major challenges to human survival.

REDD+ Readiness Preparation Proposal of Ethiopia indicated that the forest sector in Ethiopia is responsible for the emission of 65 million tonnes of Co2.

As part of tackling this challenge, Farm Africa together with SOS Sahel and Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise have introduced REDD+ Project in Bale Mountains Eco regions. The Bale REDD + is a pioneer initiative in Ethiopia with the aim of ensuring sustainable financing mechanism for Ethiopia.

At a discussion held with stakeholders in Shashemene last Wednesday, Project Coordinator Lulu Likassa said that sustainable forest management would be ensured with the active participation of the community.

According to him, the community are the owners of the forest and the beneficiaries of the resources. “Thus, through creating awareness and participatory forest management model, economic, social and ecological benefits could be sustained.”

Previously, it was believed that the government is the only responsible organ to protect the forest. However, it is proved that without the active involvement of the community sustainable results cannot be achieved, he said.

Lulu said that the Bale Mountains Eco-region REDD+ Project (BMERP) is, therefore, a pioneer initiative in Ethiopia to replicate REDD + implementation .

The country would earn six million USD every year upon properly managing and saving at least 65 per cent of the forest from deforestation and retaining Carbon emission within the next 20 years, he added.

Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise Arsi Branch Manager Kedir Nino also said that the Enterprise together with Farm Africa and SOS Sahel is implementing Sustainable Livelihood and Forest Management Projects and the Bale Mountains Eco-Region REDD + Projects.

According to him, Participatory Forest Management has a key role in sustainable forest management. The projects, which are being implementing in the Bale mountains, are showing progress for the community now realizes benefits of sustainable forest management, Kedir added.

Ministry National Coordinator REDD + Secretariat Dr. Yitebitu Moges said that Ethiopia has climate change mitigation potential. According to him, the total forest carbon stock in Ethiopia is estimated 2.1 CO2e and 90 per cent of Ethiopian highlands form sustainable place for forest development. The Bale Mountains Eco region REDD + Project covers an area of 500,000 ha. of high forest which represents one of the two main tropical forest blocks remaining in Ethiopia. The project is funded by the Royal Embassy of Norway, Irish Aid and the Royal Embassy of Netherlands.

REDD+ is a climate change mitigation strategy introduced by the United Nations to help stop destruction of the world’s forests. Wildlife Works’ REDD+ projects protect threatened forests, wildlife, and uplift rural communities.


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