Wof Washa Forest,
Community-led restoration of a biodiversity hotspot
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natural forest to be protected

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communal land to be restored


families to benefit

The natural resources of the 7000 hectare Wof Washa Forest (known as “Cave of Birds”) support the lives of over 60 000 people.

With weak policy enforcement, lack of resources and an absence of land management, nearly 2000 hectares of the natural forest has been lost over the last 20 years.

The project’s goal is to conserve and restore the natural forest through community-led forest and landscape restoration, creating new income and resilience strategies.

Why and how we’re working here

The districts surrounding Wof Washa forest are some of the most intensively cultivated areas, with a long history of high population settlement coupled with deforestation and cattle grazing that have led to intense land use change and biodiversity loss.
The project will engage communities in the 15 villages of the forest to create a grassroots-level engagement programme and governance approach to protect and restore the forest and create new income and resilience strategies.


Wof Washa forest, Amhara, Ethiopia

Restoration approaches

Enrichment planting, direct seeding, agroforestry

restoration partners

WeForest Ethiopia SUNARMA, an Ethiopian-led NGO

Notable species

Prunus africana, Thymus schimperi


Communities in 15 villages

The project’s impact on people and nature

Around 69 280 people – 17 000 families – in 15 villages are dependent on the Wof Washa forest and its resources for their livelihoods. It is the source of fuel wood, construction material, farm implements, edible fruits, medicine, water, and game for hunting. Another source of income is smuggling of lumber for illegal sale, and farmers also collect honey from the forest.

Explore the interactive map

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Progress reports

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