In Seret, in the Tigray region, a joint re-greening effort of the government, community and NGO ́s works to stop land degradation, protect natural resources and improve food production. It does so mostly using “exclosures”: community owned areas where livestock is not allowed anymore and that are protected in order to rehabilitate degraded land and restore its functions of landslide protection, clean water provider and a habitat for wildlife.
WeForest participates in this movement through the enriching of encroached exclosures using native trees. The project works in close collaboration with the local community and supports them with trainings on natural resource management programs, income generating activities, such as through beehives and beekeeping cooperatives, and by providing material support.
EthioTrees; Trees for Farmers; Mekelle University Ethiopia.
Restore native forest
Restore degraded lands
Promote economic development
Promote non-timber forest production
Boost groundwater recharge
Promote food security
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Why is intervention needed?
Currently, less than 1% of Tigray´s Afromontane forests and hillsides are still standing, due to intense cattle grazing, unsustainable agriculture and wood extraction, as well as illegal charcoal production. WeForest is therefore focusing on alternative livelihoods for the communities and show that the trees can provide much more benefits standing than felled.
In Seret, the restoration takes place only in Exclosures (or protected ‘no-go’ zones where grazing is prohibited). The local community participate in the restoration activities, either through the planting of seedlings (grown in community-based nurseries) or seeds are directly sown. Given the hilly landscape, frequent droughts, poor soil conditions, the project focuses on tree after-care and implements soil and water conservation measures (to reduce erosion and landslides).
Trees have a better chance of being protected if local villages are active in any project and directly see the financial return in their lives. Community members therefore manage the nurseries and plant and protect the saplings. Moreover the project targets women and young adults with training in additional livelihood initiatives, such as apiculture, agroforestry, and grass harvesting (cut and carry system) to feed livestock.
* Carbon calculation methodology
The total above-ground biomass is estimated to average 32.66 tons of CO2 per hectare over a period of 20 years.
FAO (2010) Global forest resources assessment 2010: Main report. FAO Forestry Paper No. 163. FAO, Rome, Italy. p. 340
Ethiopia - Tigray region has been awarded the Gold Award for the World's Best Land Restoration Policy from the World Future Council.