WeForest Project


Ethiopia Amhara

A community-based approach to restore degraded lands
Area restored
1,197 ha

Project Summary

In Machakel in Ethiopia's Amhara region, the local community is at the heart of the forest restoration project. Indigenous trees are planted on community land, gullies and river banks, and fruit and timber trees are planted on farms. Training the local people is an important aspect: villagers learn new skills and share these with other people in the surrounding villages. This enables the entire community to start protecting and restoring their own forests.

  • Alt
    Seedlings growing at one of the nurseries. Examples of species are Olea europeana, Acacia abyssinica, Faidherbia albida and Graviliarobusta.
  • Alt
    Workers take care of the young seedlings. They cover the bed with grass to avoid direct sun exposure and excessive moisture loss.
  • Alt
    Degraded landscapes, mostly because of deforestation, heavy grazing and soil erosion.
  • Alt
    Empowering local communities.
  • Alt
    Local women producing teff.


Machakel woreda, East-Gojam zone, Amhara region

Project Status


Restoration Approach

Framework Planting
Assisted Natural Regeneration
Enrichment Planting:

Planting Period

End June to beg August

Project Partners

The Hunger Project

Amhara National Regional State Bureau of Agriculture and Rural Development 


Faidherbia albida, Juniperus procera, Moringa stelapolata, Olea Europea, Pinus patula, Podocarpus spp

Project Goals

Restore native forest
Restore degraded lands
Promote economic development
Increase food security

Latest Project News

How does forest restoration reduce soil erosion?
| 03 December
7 December 2021
Rain starts play
| 09 July
9 July 2020
Growing a Brighter Future in Ethiopia, Amhara
| 10 January
10 January 2019
Brabantia's community tree nurseries
| 30 March
30 March 2017
News from the field in Amhara
| 17 January
17 January 2017
How gullies threaten livelihoods
| 05 January
5 January 2017

Why is intervention needed?

With 85% of Ethiopia’s population engaged in agriculture, the level of deforestation for crops for firewood or charcoal is extreme, causing extensive soil erosion and the formation of gullies. As little as 6% of forest in Machakel remains today. As a result, soil fertility has declined to such an extent that local people now struggle to grow crops and raise livestock. Our focus is to reverse this trend and ensure alternative sources of fuel, shelter and income.

Ecological restoration

Indigenous trees are planted on community land, gullies, river banks and farmland, and fruit and timber trees are planted on farms. Fruit and timber trees, apiculture, brick production, cooking-stove and fodder production offer additional income to diversify income streams in ways that ease pressure on the surrounding forest.

Livelihood development

We prefer to engage women and youths throughout our project activities whenever possible, in order to ensure that the most vulnerable among the communities are benefiting directly. “Animators” are trained in a variety of project activities from seed collection to sustainable harvesting of non-timber forest products, and pass on training to others. This places leadership back into the hands of local people, encouraging communities to become more resilient and self-reliant.