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.