Sustainable Management of an Ethiopian Rangeland for Biodiversity and Pastoralists
This project funded by Darwin_Defra, focuses on the Liben plains of Guji Zone, Oromiya Region where pastoralists and the critically endangered Liben Lark live in co-habitation. The Liben plains support not less than 10,000 pastoralists with usufruct property rights. The Liben plains is designated as in Important Bird Area is home to one of the most critically endangered birds on the planet Liben Lark Heteromirafra archeri, and valuable agro-biodiversity (it has c. 50 species of grass and has the Borana breed of cattle). To a large extent, this site is facing degradation of biodiversity from overgrazing, soil erosion, scrub encroachment and conversion of grasslands into cropland.
Driven by the declining fortunes of pastoralism, pastoralists are turning to cultivation, which, due to unpredictable rainfall and poor soils, is unsustainable and accelerates grasslandand biodiversity loss. The outcome of this project is therefore to sustainably manage the Liben plains to enhance livelihood and food security for 10,000 pastoralists, preventing the extinction of the Liben Lark and integrating biodiversity conservation in to Ethiopian rangeland recovery. Project is being implemented at the moment and will end in February 2016.
NABU Funded Project
NABU is funding a project on eco-tourism Infrastructure Development & Training at the newly established Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve (LTBR) in Bahir Dar. The main objective of the project is to develop and promote eco-tourism in LTBR. The project is associated with activities such as awareness raising, development of infrastructure (sign boards and direction indicating arrows for visitors, nature trails and paths), training of stakeholders such as hotel owners, tour operators, local communities, boat owners and operators and the staff of tourist office in the region. Furthermore, the project has undertaken the development of tourism infrastructure at Zege Peninsula by putting up signs boards which bear logos and names of ancient monasteries, direction indicating marks on trees and stones, and arrows so that visitors could easily find their way as they walk to see the monasteries and other natural attractions in the peninsula. Most project activities apart from latrines have been completed.
HoA-REC Funded Project
The Horn of Africa Regional Environmental Center (HoA-REC) is funding a project titled School Environmental Education and Sustainability Project in Gambella and Central Rift Valley (CRV). The project is focusing on environmental education and school water supply and sanitation support among others. Activities involved with school water supply include improvement of water supply and sanitation, while environmental education focuses on supporting environmental clubs and capacity building. The project involves a total number of twenty one schools where as eight are from Gambela and thirteen are from CRV. The aim of environmental education in schools is to sensitize environmental ideas in young minds so that they grow as environment friendly citizens.
So far stakeholders in the project area have met to plan and strategize on implementation of the project, used the environmental celebration day to raise community awareness.