Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society

The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF), since the beginning of 2015, granted USD482, 389.00 for three local environmental NGOs and two universities in Ethiopia for conservation of key biodiversity areas in Lake Tana Catchment Landscape Corridor at Aliyu Amba, Mount Guna, Awi Zone and Lake Tana through its investment in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot.

The grantees include Lem the Environment & Development Society of Ethiopia, Bahir Dar University and Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA) which secured large grants and University of Gonder and Bees for Development Ethiopia that received small grants.


Large Grant Projects

Lem- Ethiopia

CEPF signed a large grant project agreement, with a local environmental NGO, Lem, the Environment & Development Society of Ethiopia to undertake Mainstreaming biodiversity at district development planning and improve livelihood security project in AliyuAmba, North Shoa Zone, Amhara Regional State. Aliyu Amba is identified as one of the key biodiversity sites in Lake Tana Corridor.

The objective of the project is to develop the knowledge, experience and skill of 670 men and women development practitioners, school community members and representatives of Aliyu Amba community on biodiversity conservation and the benefits of mainstreaming biodiversity conservation and to influence local decision makers to mainstream in their local development planning process through organizing awareness development workshops and training during the project period.

The two and half-year project is striving to improve the ecosystem which currently is under human induced threat. The project will give special attention to mainstreaming biodiversity conservation into planning and existing policies, encourage enforcement of laws, restore degraded land and create environmental friendly activities that will increase income and reduce pressure on the natural resources.

The KBA is known as a home of different bird species mainly birds like yellow throated Serin (Serinus) and Somali-Masai biome bird species. Other than the human intervention that is unbalancing the ecosystem, this KBA is already vulnerable to climate change as livelihood depends on the natural resources; the natural resources are means and basis to agriculture, food, water, fuel and construction, and income.

Bahir Dar University

In the same development, CEPF signed a grant agreement with Bahir Dar University (BDU) to execute Rehabilitation and Sustainable Utilization of Little Abbai River Mouth Wetlands project at the mouth of Little (Gilgel) Abay River, one of the perennial rivers that feeds Lake Tana. Little Abbai River Mouth Wetlands are important habitats for fish breeding, feeding and nursery. Nevertheless, these wetlands are severely altered by anthropogenic factors which, has led to decline of fish abundance in Lake Tana particularly the endemic Labeobarbus species. The aim of this project is to rehabilitate the degraded wetlands and diversify the livelihood options of local community to conserve the biodiversity in the Little Abbai River Mouth Wetlands. The Upper Gilgel Abay Basin is the largest catchment in the Lake Tana basin that discharges to the lake.

Little Abbai River Mouth Wetlands are important habitats for fish breeding, feeding and nursery. Nevertheless, these wetlands are severely altered by anthropogenic factors. This has led to decline of fish abundance in Lake Tana. Consequently, the fishers have also changed their fishing practices. For instance, they have started to use destructive fishing gears; many of the fishers use the illegal monofilament gillnet. As a result of this, many of the endemic Labeobarbus species in the Lake are endangered.

Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara

CEPF also signed a project agreement with Organization for Rehabilitation and Development in Amhara (ORDA) to carryout Community-based Biodiversity Conservation In Mount Guna Area. The proposed project which covers an area of 4615 ha, will be implemented in collaboration with the communities from three woredas (East Estie, Lay Gayint and Farta) of South Gondar Zone. ORDA promotes Community –based conservation approach to protect Mount Guna from the adverse effects of human encroachment and sustainable utilization of resources. The project will involve establishing legal institution, preparing sound management plan, working on the legalization processes and policy advocacy on the conservation of biodiversity.

Mount Guna (MG) is part of the Eastern Afromontane Hotspot, one of the 34 global biodiversity hotspot areas in the world. It is found in the northern Ethiopia, and is one of the intact remnant and fragmented vegetation in Amhara National Regional States of Ethiopia. MG covers an estimated area of 760 square Km. It is known to be home to diverse species of plants, and assemblage of forest vertebrates consisting various birds and mammals. The forest in MG also provides food, timber, fuel wood, fodder, and other Non-wood forest products.

Mount Guna forms part of the divide between the drainage basins of the Abay and the Tekezé rivers. It is the origin of the Rib River, which flows into Lake Tana.

Small Grant Projects

Bees for Development Ethiopia

Bees for Development Ethiopia (BfDE), an indigenous environmental NGO in Amhara Regional State, received a small grant from CEPF through EWNHS in February 2015. The sub-grantee will implement a “Modeling Integration of biodiversity management and sustainable livelihoods in Awi Zone”project in Awi Zone. The project focuses on rehabilitating and sustainably managing forest resources and key endangered tree species by the community of Awi Zone while improving their livelihoods.

The strategic focus of the project is to ensure rehabilitation of forest resources through planting of key endangered tree species with the involvement of communities from Serdo Gedel and Aginta project sites in Gult Kebele of Dangila woreda.

Awi Zone, one of the identified KBAs in Eastern Afromontane Hotspot, is crossed by about nine permanent rivers which drain into the Abay (or Blue Nile); other water features include two crater lakes, Zengena and Tirba, and Zimbiri marsh which is located 5 km south-west of Addis Kidan, a town on the Kosso Ber-Bahir Dar road.

University of Gonder

University of Gonder (UoG) currently builds the capacity of the community in Mount Guna through its project “implementing “Strengthen emerging conservation efforts in Mount Guna through Community Based Ecotourism and Agroforestry: Capacity building and responsible eco-tourism marketing project”. EWNHS, a coordinator and a member of CEPF-EAM Regional Implementation Team signed a small grant project agreement with the University in January 2015. The objective of the project includes building the capacity of project beneficiaries in resource management planning, explore and promote Ecotourism opportunities for alternative income source and to promote sustainable intensification of crop-tree-livestock integration through agro-forestry systems for better livelihood and environmental conservation.

CEPF is a joint initiative of l’AgenceFrançaise de Développement, Conservation International, the European Union, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) the Government of Japan, the MachArthur Foundation, and the World Bank. A fundamental Goal is to ensure civil Society is engaged in biodiversity conservation.”

“BirdLife International, International for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society (EWNHS) are the Regional Implementation Team (RIT) for the Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund (CEPF) investment in the Eastern Afromontane Biodiversity Hotspot, enabling civil society participation in biodiversity conservation where it matters most”.

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