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Desa’a Forest, Ethiopia

Reversing land degradation and poverty through forest landscape restoration

0 ha
under restoration so far
trees protected & growing
species regenerating
families benefiting
people trained


Eastern and South Eastern zone, Tigray region

Project partners

TBOARD, EFCCC, Tigray Plan and Finance, Mekelle University, EEFRI

Restoration approaches

Assisted Natural Regeneration; framework planting

Threatened species

Dracaena ombet (Nubian Dragon Tree)


23 000 farming families

The Desa’a Forest is one of the oldest remaining dry afromontane forests in Ethiopia. Over 26 000 people live below the poverty line here, relying on the forest for water, energy and to feed their cattle. This ambitious, award-winning project aims to restore and protect arid afromontane and bring water back to this region, which is directly threatened by desertification coming from the north, and lift the rural communities out of extreme poverty.

Why and how we're working here

The Desa’a forest reserve is home to many threatened species, and plays an important role in climate adaptation and water supply in a region directly threatened by desertification from the north and east. Currently, 74% of the forest has disappeared and the remaining 26% is severely degraded.

The project's impact on


The project aims to build local capacity to hand management of the reserve over to the communities. A livelihood plan will alleviate the pressure on the forest resources by providing alternative sources of income from activities such as sustainable agriculture, agroforestry  and beekeeping.

Explore the interactive map

Who’s funding the Desa’a Forest project?