WeForest Project


Ethiopia Rift Valley

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty
Area restored
325 ha

Project Summary

To restore the native forest, local communities planted trees to alleviate poverty and environmental degradation. They were provided with new job opportunities in the form of planting and forestry, given to single mothers and widows (as a result of AIDS). Through this they gained income and new skills and could invest more in children's futures. Many of the seeds planted around the forest were intended to directly benefit the local population through improved access to food and the potential for income generation. Tree planting also helped to promote biodiversity and reduce soil erosion.


Rift Valley

Project Status


Project Goals

Restore native forest and promote biodiversity
Promote economic development
Increase food security

Latest Project News

| 24 October
24 October 2016

Why is intervention needed?

Ethiopia is one of the world's poorest countries. As recently as 2008, almost half of the country's population was living in poverty with many suffering from extreme food insecurity. Most of these people live in rural areas, mostly small and marginal farmers who rely on agriculture for their food and income. The two year long war in Eritrea that caused massive population displacements in the south, pushed local communities further into desperate conditions and increasing substantial pressure on the soil. In Ethiopia, this extreme poverty goes hand in hand with environmental degradation, with each one affecting the other in a cycle of positive feedback. With 80% of Ethiopians dependent on agriculture as their main livelihood, poverty has been made worse by severe arid conditions due to persistent lack of rainfall. In parallel to this, communities living in poverty do not have the luxury of acting in the interest of their environment and can often cause further degradation.