MAKING LOCAL COMMUNITIES PART OF THE SOLUTION
Meeting with farmers in Tigray, May 2017 © WeForest
In some parts of Northern Ethiopia, 98% of the forest cover has disappeared. Individual farmers did not have many other options than converting forests into agricultural land, cut trees and sell firewood to compensate for severe food insecurity. This has been exacerbated by recurring droughts: the 2015/2016 El Niño-induced drought was the worst one in 50 years.
Together with GiZ Biodiversity Program and Tigray bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development, our partners on the ground, we discuss and share ideas with these farmers on the value of protecting and restoring their forests while providing short-term alternative sources of income.
We make them part of the solution to bring back the forest and stop further degradation. The community role will be immense; example when need to decide on the installation of physical barriers (with stones) for water conservation and reducing soil run-offs in case it rains.