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South-west Ethiopia and its Conservation Values Promoting Integration of Social Issue into Conservation and Agriculture Practices
  • South-west Ethiopia and its

    Conservation Values

    Promoting Integration of Social

    Issue into Conservation and

    Agriculture Practices

  • 2 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    Dear Readers,

    We are very much delighted to introduce you the first Annu-al newsletter: the Southwest Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter.This newsletter is named after the area where both Afromontane and Eastern biodiversity hotspots are located. The Southwest-ern Ethiopian Afromontane rainfor-ests are the center of origin and diver-sity for wild Coffea Arabica. The area have also constituted the four bio-sphere areas (Kaffa, Yayu, Sheka and Majang)that are registered as UNESCO sites stretched between three regions (Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationali-ties and People, and Gambela Region-

    al States). South-west Ethiopia is an important area where head waters of trans-boundary Rivers and their major tributaries such as Baro, Akobo, Omo, Gibe, Dedesa and Akobo and a number of wetlands are located. It is endowed with valuable forest products like spices, coffee, medicinal plants and honey which are still less exploited and promoted. The big farms for tea and coffee also exist in this area. The area has big tourism potentials which are not well promoted and exploited. Moreover, the Southwest forest has greater importance in sequestering carbon.

    With this in mind this newsletter incorporated wide range information on Southwest land-scape and the performance of ALC project piloted as showcase in two important districts of South West Ethiopia. In this regard PHEEC and its member EWNRA, have invested more than a decade and have rich experience on PFM interventions, wetland rehabilitation, with multi-sectoral integrated PHE approach that demands harmonization and unity of all stake-holders for better outcomes. In this first publication, different topics has been covered that includes brief basic facts of Southwest,, the role of community of practice for harmonizing conservation practices, Promoting Integration of Social Issue into Conservation and Agricul-ture Practices Gender, RH/FP and Population Issues, intervie with Jimma University Officials on southwest Ethiopia and coverage on the visit of Packard officials to the field site.

    Finally any comments and inputs from your side will help us to present information that sat-isfies our future editions. Hoping that the Newsletter will provide you more details, we wish you to have a nice reading.

    Negash TekluExecutive Director

    PHE Ethiopia Consortium

    Editorial’s Note

    Editors and Contributor’s:

    Editors and Writers:

    Negash TekluAhmed MohammedEndashaw MogessieFrezer Yehiyes


    Hamid SeidTeshome KebebeLelisa Waktole

    Tel.: 251-11-6634121/ 251-11-6634116 P. O. Box : 4408 Addis Ababa, EthiopiaE-mail: [email protected]

  • Vol.1 No. 1 3

    OverviewSouth-west Ethiopia and its Conservation Values

    Ethiopia constitutes two of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots, namely the Eastern Afromontane and Horn of Africa biodiversi-ty hotspots. Southwest Ethiopia is the area where both Afromontane and Eastern biodi-versity hotspots are located and composed of a number of diverse fauna and flora species. The Southwestern Ethiopian Afromontane rain-forests are the center of origin and diversity for wild Coffea Arabica. The areas have also consti-tuted four biosphere areas (Kaffa, Yayu, Sheka and Majang). The area stretches between three regions (Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationali-ties and People, and Gambela Regional States). South-west Ethiopia is an important area where head waters of trans-boundary Rivers and their major tributaries such as Baro, Akobo, Omo, Gibe, Dedesa and Akobo and a number of wet-lands are located. It is endowed with valuable forest products like spices, coffee, medicinal plants and honey which are still less exploited and promoted. The area has also greater tour-ism potentials which are not well promoted and exploited. Moreover, the Southwest forest has greater importance in sequestering carbon.

    The existing high value bio-diversity in the areas is main factors for the demands to conservation actions. Livelihood of majority of the commu-nities in the area is` highly dependent on the forest resources which has been supported by systems of indigenous conservation practices such as “kobo system”. However, the external pressures and different factors are becoming challenging to these environmental friendly in-digenous cultures and practices. This requires

    introducing improved biodiversity conserva-tion practices that builds on and enhances the existing indigenous practices.

    The area unlike its national and global signifi-cance there are huge threats to its high value biodiversity that includes extensive number of government and private agriculture invest-ments like tea and coffee farms, fertilizer and coal factories, and huge hydropower infrastruc-tures. In addition to the large scale investments, there are also smallholder farmland expansions and illegal tree cuttings and timber extractions that hugely affect the biodiversity of the area. The lack of strong coordination, partnership and harmonized approaches are also aggravating the significant degradation of the biodiversity resources. For instance one of the project area, the Yayo coffee forest Biosphere Reserve site, which is the top high value biodiversity area has about 150,000 people living in the surround-ing areas. The dominant means of livelihood of those communities is agriculture, which is dominated by cash crop production particular-ly coffee and honey. As the family size increase in their households, farmers usually involve in coffee land expansion activities by encroaching into the intact natural forests including the core zone. Coffee plant expansion and its related deforestation is the number one threat of Yayu-UNESCO Registered Coffee Biosphere Reserve. Different research results have showed that de-forestation has already threatened a number of plants species, including the gene pool of wild population of coffea Arabica. Because of limited promotion of alternative livelihood and youth

  • 4 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    employment options to forest dependent com-munities, mostly youth are involved in illegal charcoal production and tree cutting for timber harvesting. All these activities are exacerbating land degradation and hugely affecting the bio-diversity resource of the area.

    The huge present challenges posed on the biodiversity of the South-west Ethiopia needs a more comprehensive and different interven-tions to the business as usual approach in the manner to harmonize the development, com-munity wellbieng and conservation needs.

    Brief Highlight of ALC Project in South-West Ethiopia

    The project entitled “Maintaining Biodiversity through integrated interventions of sustain-able agriculture, natural resource use and Re-

    productive Health/Family planning in Jimma and Illu Aba Bora zones” was developed with the premise to improve practices of biodiversity conservation and increase resilience as show-case in Doreni and Dedo districts. Introduction of integrated sustainable agricultural practices, Participatory forest management (PFM) and increased knowledge in gender and service uptake of RH/FP/Health was the major compo-nents of the project. The two woredas were se-lected to demonstrate as pilot interventions in the conservation of the high value biodiversity in the Southwest Ethiopia Landscape.

    This project is developed with the intention to test improved biodiversity and sustainable ag-riculture through integration of livelihood and social issues. The project intervention was iden-tified to be piloted in the selected sites there-by will be implemented at a larger scale in the Southwest Ethiopia Landscapes.

    Description of the two intervention districts/sites

    Doreni district

    Doreni district, in Iluababora zone has11kebeles found in Yayu Biosphere Reserve area. The project will be implemented as a show case in six out of the eleven kebeles of the district. Yayu Biosphere reserve is one of the largest remnant Afromontane rainforest in Ethiopia which cov-ers about 167,021 hectares of land. It is part of the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot with about 450 higher plants species, 50 mammals, 200 birds and 20 amphibian species of all habitat types. It is registered by UNESCO in 2010 as an important world Forest Coffee Bio-sphere Reserve Site. The six targeted kebeles of this project are located at the core and buffer zone of the Yayu Biosphere Reserve area. A total of 48,000 people live in the targeted district (CSA 2007). The dominant means of livelihood is agriculture, which is dominated by cash crop production particularly coffee production. About 119, 245 quintals of coffee produced annu-ally from these kebeles from 17,035 ha of land. About 247.3 tons of honey is also being pro-duced annually from the same.

    The entire community is almost totally dependent on forest products as means of livelihood. The annual households’ condition is primarily dependent on the yield and market value of coffee and honey. As the family size increase in their households (the population growth rate is very high), farmers usually involve in coffee plant expansion activities by cutting trees. Cof-fee plant expansion and its related deforestation is the major threat of Yayu biosphere. Defor-estation has already threatened a number of plant specious, including the gene pool of wild population of coffee Arabica.

    Dedo district

    Dedo district is located in Jimma Zone of Oromia Regional Sate and has a total of 33 kebeles and a population of 212,283(CSA, 2017). Dedo district constitutes highly threatened biodiver-sity due to more intensive pressure from agriculture expansion and investment. The district is source of common rivers of Dawer , Didibo. Dessara ,Unta ,warro and lagamissi that all drains into Gibe river. Using these rivers four hydroelectric power generations dams were construct-ed. The district is densely populated and the area is highly threatened through degradation and due to soil erosion the district is also highly exposed to land slid in most cases. One of the intervention kebele, Sola is covered with 800 hectare of natural forest. The coal mining that is being extracted in this area has highly threatened the natural forest of the area. This forest is the home of different species of wild animals such as lions, Cheeta and birds.

  • Vol.1 No. 1 5

    This project is seeking to address root causes of biodiversity degradation, loss with the goal of improving the conservation practice and resil-ience of people and enhancing high value bio-diversity.

    The project has four major outcomes that contribute to the goals:

    1) Improved capacities of CBOs and local gov-ernment sectors in biodiversity conservation

    2) Enhanced capacities of applying sustainable agricultural and forest products production, utilization and marketing practices

    3) Improved knowledge and increased service uptake towards RH/FP/Health and

    4) Evidence on the integrated approach gener-ated and documented, knowledge shared and coordination mechanism strengthened.

    To deliver the intended outcomes, thereby contributing to the goal, the project will im-plement activities under four major compo-nents;

    1) Promoting PFM activities

    2) Promoting sustainable agricultural and Non Timber Forest Products(NTFP) production prac-tices and livelihood

    3) Promoting multi-sector integration and coor-dination among multiple partners and

    4) Dissemination of best practices and policy support on conservation, sustainable agricul-ture and RH/FP. Reproductive health/family planning and gender issues will be cross cut-ting across the four major component activities.

    A total of 3700 households (18500 people) will be benefited through the implementation of the project intervention through the project periods.This three year(2018-2020) project has a total budget of 700,000 USD.

    The project was initiated following the launch-ing of the pilot International Conservation Ag-riculture (ICA) Strategy of the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. The ICA strategy was de-veloped in 2016 so as to address the environ-mental threats posed and that reduces their social implication and recognizes the potential of working with small-scale farmers and local communities to achieve conservation goals. The ICA strategy was intended to be imple-mented in Ethiopia, Indonesia and Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).

    The central idea of the ICA strategy is that un-sustainable agriculture practices of smallholder farms is negatively affecting the high value bio-diversity.Small-scale farms represent 80% of all

    farms globally and produce an estimated 80% of the food supply in Asia and sub-Saharan Afri-ca. In the case of Ethiopia, the smallholder farm-ers’ constitutes more than 84% which makes the ICA strategy more relevant to the context of Ethiopia. The ICA strategy has the underlying assumption of enduring large-scale conserva-tion outcomes can be achieved by concurrently addressing issues of sustainability, poverty, and inequality within the food system.

    In Ethiopia, the ICA strategy initiated with the aim of helping farmers and communities to sustainably steward their land and achieve bet-ter conservation and development outcomes through scaling sustainable agricultural prac-tices among smallholder farmers, Empowering female farmers, Improving the capacity of lo-cal NGOs and communities, effectively engag-ing the Ethiopian government given Ethiopia’s ecological and cultural diversity, ICA will focus on specific land scape, eco-region or supply chain(s) to have a meaningful impact.

    Accordingly, the ALC project developed and implemented by PHE Ethiopia Consortium and EWNRA are contributing to the implementation of the ICA strategies.

    Implementation Approaches

    The project has been implemented by using the PHE integrated approaches which has specif-ic mechanisms and instruments of translating interventions into practical actions by creating vertical and horizontal integrations at all levels. The premise of PHE approach is to promote sustainable development and resilience of communities and ecosystems through encom-passing the social (reproductive health, gender and population), economic and environment elements.

    The PHE integration approach mechanisms are:

    Promoting Household Level Integration: households/families are the central points of integration whereby all elements of PHE (social, economic and environmental) are implement-ed in a holistic manner.

    Promoting farm level integration: this ap-proach promotes with focus on integrated in-terventions such as agriculture and conserva-tion issues at the smallholder farms. This has given due attention to the improvement of pro-duction, productivity and introducing better conservation practices.

    Promoting watershed level integration: the household and small-holder farm level integra-tion are linked to the watershed of the localities where the interventions are implemented. In this regard, the watershed level integration has been implemented by creating synergy among

  • 6 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    the actions at the household and farm level in-terventions with the view of sustaining the spe-cific watershed.

    Landscape level integration: this level inte-gration is promoted with the assumption of linking the individual’s household, farm level and watershed level integration with bigger land scape scale that has ecosystem linkages.

    Multi-sector Taskforce (MSTF) and High-er-Level Platform (HLPF): The multi-sector taskforces were used as the mechanism for co-ordination and a platform for dissemination of results. The MSTFs are the joint platform that comprises the different stakeholders in the ar-eas of interest. This involves government sec-tors, Civil Society Organizations (CSOs), private companies, community-based organizations and community representatives. The MSTF is the mechanism to create operational level inte-gration. The HLPF is established comprising rel-evant regional and federal level policy makers to serve as mechanisms for bringing integra-tion of interventions and disseminating results to inform policy. Both MSTF and HLPF support vertical and horizontal level integrations.

    Figure 1 : Integration of Sectors in ALC Project

    Higher Level Partners Forum

    Strategic Management Team

    Technical Team

    Jimma Project Coordination Metu Project Coordination

    Project office at Dedo Project office at Doreni

    Project Implementation Structure

    The ALC project is implemented through consortium working modality.The implementation structure has Higher Level Partners Forum (HLPF), Strategic Management Team (SMT) and Techni-cal Team (TT).

  • Vol.1 No. 1 7

    Figure 2: Map of PFM Kebeles in Doreni district within Yayubiosphere core, buffer and transition zones

    Project AccomplishmentsPromoting Better Conservation Practices

    Before introducing the biodiversity conserva-tion practices, an assessment on the threats to the biodiversity of the area was done. Through assessment the most threatened biodiversity was identified and possible restoration inter-ventions were identified. Accordingly, Bamboo, hygenea, podocarpus and junipers in Dedo and wild forest coffea Arabica and Cordia Africana (Wanza) in Doreni districts were identified as highly threatened tree species. Participatory forest management (PFM) is an approach that was proposed to address the outcome of high value biodiversity conservation in the areas where there is intact natural forests. On the other hand watershed management and pro-motion of restoration of indigenous trees in the Dedo district was the possible conservation measure identified to be implemented in the case of Dedo district where higher degradation is prevalent.

    Application of PFM as forest biodiversity conservation method

    The biodiversity conservation interventions were defined to fit the contexts of the areas.

    PFM establishment was the key conservation model applied for the case of Doreni district. The PFM establishment has used following the tested procedures and standard principles. The different PFM activities from awareness cre-ation to PFM institution formation were com-pleted. The PFM institution will engage in the PFM management implementation and forest based enterprise development through con-ducting the monitoring and evaluation activ-ities. The project in the remaining period will provide continuous capacity building support in organizational management, enterprise de-velopment and establishment of monitoring and evaluation system.

    Following the PFM steps, three PFM Coopera-tives are established in Doreni district (see the location Figure 2).

    The details of forets blocks and land use types of each of the PFM Kebeles are indicated in Ta-ble 1.

  • 8 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    S.N KebeleForest block (Gott)

    Area (ha) by land use types

    Settlement & agricul-ture


    1 BedesaSuri 822

    Haromelaka 316 1531

    2 Bocho

    Fanishoshe 594 294

    Bocho 734 1176

    Bondewo 601 1619

    3 Worebo

    Shenkora 860 1244

    Sogo 713 260

    Kusi 606 647

    Total 3 8 5,246 6,771

    Table 1: PFM forest blocks and Land use types

    PFM Principles

    Devolution of forest control: PFM is legally backed devolution of forest management; it is like land reform but for forests.

    Strengthening links: PFM is about strength-ening relationships between the customary for-est users and forest resources

    Wise and legal use : PFM recognizes that the best way to stop uncontrolled destructive ille-gal use is to have controlled legal use combined with forest development

    Trust: PFM is about trust, trust by the gov-ernment and trust by the communities

  • Vol.1 No. 1 9

    Conservation Practices through water shed management and restoration actionsThe conservation practices introduced in Dedo district was watershed management and tree based forest land restoration with focus on in-digenous species. The district agriculture office report has showed that the soil erosion has found to be 37 tons per hectare per year which reduces production of farmland by six quintal per hectare per year. The watershed manage-ment has been implemented with promotion of biological soil and water conservation using vetiver grass. This was promoted at the farm land of the individual smallholder farmers with the intention of reducing soil erosion and im-proving productivity.

    The project has supported the implementation of biological and water conservation practices in 83 hectares of individual farmlands. A total of 188 farmers benefited through engaging in the promotion vetiver grass in plantation their farm lands as means to soil and water conservation. This will in turn support to reduce the soil ero-sion and improve productivity.

    Vetiver grass planted on farm lands forconservation purpose

    Monitoring visit with the village community on restoration activities.

  • 10 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    Tree based forest land restorationTree based forest land restoration was done focusing on the high value indigenous species such as bamboo, hygenea and also exotic spe-cies like gravilea and pynuspachula.

    To support the forest land restoration activities, the project has established nurseries operated by youths.

    Bamboo seedling plantation for restoration

    Established nurseries by Youth groups

    Planting Hyginea for restoration Tree planting on water shed area

  • Vol.1 No. 1 11

    Community of practice (CoP)

    The project has initiated community of practices on biosphere reserve management (BRM) and participatory forest management through en-gaging the senior experts and specialist in the area. This was initiated primarily with the aim of addressing the challenges of establishing PFM in the already registered biosphere areas which was resulted from presumed attitudes of con-sidering the two approaching as conflicting. In addition the initiation of community of practic-es has the ultimate objective of creating com-mon understanding among practitioners and experts who are promoting the two approach-es, government officials and there by harmoniz-ing the two approaches through institutionaliz-ing into the government policy and strategies.

    The BRM and PFM community of practices ini-tiated by the project constituting 20 members and has conducted threemeetings:

    1) The first meeting was organized with the aim of creating clarity and understanding on PFM and BRM among the experts and professionals. The major action points of this meeting were:

    a) Practitioners working on PFM and BR need to promote their respective approach they are ap-plying without professional bias and denounc-ing one another. We need to capitalize on the complementarity and harmonization aspects of the two approaches rather than on competing;

    b) Prepare joint assessment with the stakehold-ers; and

    c) The organizations (EWNRA, NABU, PHEEC, MELCA, Farm Africa and ECFF,) engaged in the implementation of PFM and BR were given an assignment to come up with proposal for har-monization of the two approaches

    2) The second meeting was organized with the aim looking for the link and complementari ties of the two approaches towards better conser-vation practices. The key actions made in this meeting are:a) Agreements reached not prohibit communi-ties form the long customary use right of forest products such honey production, spices and traditional medicines from the core zone

    b)Promote the full ownership of the core zone to the government and communities to have non-destructive use rights c) Agreement reached to integrate the social issues into theBRM plans should incorporate

    Policy and strategic level engagements to biodiversity conservation

    social components during the revision of the plans d) There is a need to advocate towards creating appropriate government institutions mandated with follow up of BR sites

    3) The third meeting was organized with the aim of harmonize the two approaches and tap-ping the opportunities of promoting both ap-proaches for a better conservation practices.

    The participants of the meeting have unani-mously agreed that there is no conceptual dif-ference in the three uses of BR and PFM; (con-servation, research and development). Thus, agreement was reached to work on PFM in al-ready designated BR areas.

    a) By considering the three functions of BR, the core area should be managed by the communi-ty through sustaining traditional uses by devel-oping strong bylaws;

    b) Guideline that is used for harmonized im-plementation of PFM on already established BR should be developed through discussion between BR and PFM practitioners. The devel-opment of the guideline will be expected to be address by Packard Foundation through the recent research commissioned on PFM and BR. The guideline is also expected to include the experiences of BR in Keffa and Sheka;

    c) Finally, MELCA Ethiopia is on the process of organizing” Biosphere Networks meeting”. The meeting will incorporate as point of discussion the agreement reached by the community of practitioners meeting on December, 2019 .

    BR and PFM Harmonization Meeting- third round.

  • 12 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    Promoting conservation through coalition and networks

    PHE Ethiopia Consortium is implementing multi sectoral integrated projects with its partners in Bale Eco Region, supported by EU and in Cen-tral Rift Valley Land Scape supported by SIDA. It advocated the integration of social issues such as gender, health and population dynamics into the conservation efforts. The national and inter-national level coalitions and networks were ex-ploited as mechanism for advocating the issues

    of integration in any conservation endeavors. At national level the REDD+ learning network, green table program of GIZ, the CRGE platform and na-tional renaissance dam catchment management team were the important platforms and coalitions used for advocating integration. At international level the IUCN, ICPD, COP, ICFP and UN HLPF were the platforms and networks utilized for advocat-ing integration at international level.

    Level of engagement Issues advocated

    Population and development Participated as technical team member and played key role in advocating the inclusion of environment issues in development of the new population policy. In addition, in partnership with universities and stakeholders, we have organized the national Population and Development Conferences.

    REDD+ Learning Network The promotion of inclusion of social issues such as gender, health and population into REDD+ investments and the respec-tive policy and strategic frameworks

    Green Table Promotion of multi-sector partnership mechanisms for integra-tion in light of sustainable development

    CRGE Platform Promote the role of social issues inclusion in adaptation and mitigation and creating enabling environment for CSOs engage-ment in the CRGE implementation

    National Renaissance Dam Catchment Management Committee

    Voicing for proactive action for the management of the renais-sance dam catchment areas and the importance of engaging the CSOs.

    Climate Change negotiation process (Participation in COPs)

    PHEEC was advocating strongly injecting climate adaptation and mitigation with SRHR, population and gender issues since COP 15

    UN process and participating in High Level Plat Form(HLPF)

    PHEEC strongly participated with its global partners in evalu-ating the MDGs and developing SDG contents throughout the process.

    By attending in HLPF we have contributed how the process of implementation of SDG can be strengthened at country and global level

    ICPD PHEEC has attended and contributed for ICPD beyond 2014, Addis Ababa Declaration on Population and Development (AAD-PD), representing the Civil Society of Ethiopia attended in Ghana in developing the ICPD +25 reports from the implementation of AADPD.

    Attended and contributed in the conference where SRHR, gen-der and climate change linkage in line to ICPD+25 that was held in South Africa in August 2019.

    Contributed for the African common position in relation to SRHR, gender and climate change in Windhoek, Namibia, in September 2019

  • Vol.1 No. 1 13

    Deforestation, degradation of soil, intensive pressure from agriculture expansion and in-vestment are the major problems of the proj-ect areas. The project has facilitated important activities like promoting integrated community

    ICFP PHEEC and its members has attended in all ICFP conferences through presenting abstracts and posters that focused on our field level intervention results, implemented through integrat-ed PHE multi-sectoral approach mainly addressing the linkage including to environment and climate change

    International Union for Con-servation of Nature(IUCN)

    PHEEC is the only CSO in Ethiopia that is the member of IUCN. By attending in the international and African level conferences has strongly advocated on the need of integrating social issues (RH/FP and gender) in to conservation. In addition in partner-ship with 45 international organizations is pushing a motion with the idea of integrating RH/FP and gender issues in to con-servation programs to be indorsed by IUCN international confer-ence that will happen in Paris in June 2020.

    PHE East Africa, Africa and Global

    Since its establishment we are trying our best to share our experiences learning’s by organizing field visits, conferences, developing publication through our web site and attending in their platforms and learning from our sister organizations with positive strategic partnership. In this context the establishment of Population for Sustainable Development Alliance (PSDA) is a good example.

    Table 2: National and international level engagements

    Promoting sustainable agricultural practices and Livelihood Activities

    watershed management on farm lands through supporting agro-forestry, biological soil and water conservation practices and introducing organic soil fertilizer technologies like Vermi compost.

    The farmer and his banana and vegetable garden

  • 14 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    In order to facilitate the adoption of new tech-nologies in sustainable agriculture practices, capacity development skill training was pro-vided to 61 beneficiaries, experts and develop-ment agents. The trained experts, development agents and communities were supported to

    cascade the training to 385 beneficiaries. The trained beneficiaries were provided with im-proved vegetable seeds (onion, beet root, and cabbage), fruit trees(highland apple, coffee and banana) and multipurpose forest seed-ling(bamboo).

    Apple seedlings and plantation

    Potato plant and vegetables to market

  • Vol.1 No. 1 15

    Use of PHE Village (PHEVC) and peer educators as a community mobiliza-tion tool: to improve knowledge and in-crease utilization of RH/FP services the establishment and support of PHE Village Committee (PHE-VC) and peer educators were employed as the strategy. The PHE-VC embraces prominent individuals in the kebele that highly influence the opinion of the community. The members of the com-mittee provide intensive training on RH/FP and shared their gained knowledge to the community from house to house visit to community gathering areas.

    “ I am Mohammed Abasambi, 30 years old married with 4 children. I have only half hectare of land, I am also working on my fa-ther’s holdings through sharing products. I was selected as one of the beneficiaries of this project in my kebele. I have benefited with all trainings and seedling and materi-als support of the project. I was provided with 100kg of selected potato seedling and planted and worked with the technical sup-port from our kebele development agent (DA) and harvested 12 quintal of Potato that was sold at around 4000 birr. I have saved

    two quintals of potato seeds for the next year harvest. I was also provided with ¼ kg of red beet and harvested 3 quintal and sold with 1500 birr and saved 1000 birr for the next harvest season. My wife started to use energy saving stove made by youth groups organized by this project. After the energy saving stove, we have observed that It has tremendously reduced the fire wood consumption. It has also health benefit as it regu-lates the smoke, in addition it is efficient and save my wife’s time

    and helped her to work on other activities. The other support of this project was the provision of apple seedling. I was also pro-vided with eight apple seedlings that will highly increase my income in the future. I have currently trained in how to work and use vermi compost (organic fertilizer made by vermis worm). This year I was named as male champion in our kebele as I am sup-porting my wife in using FP. Currently my wife is using injectables for spacing and we have advised by the HEW to use the long-term FP.”


    Improving Knowledge and increasing RH/FP Health service uptakes

    PHE-VC members refer their convinced cli-ents to health extension workers (health posts). Peer educators also intensively trained to influence their peers in age or sex. EightPHE-VCs have been established to work on educating and mobilizing com-munities in the target areas. The PHE-VC are supporting the efficient functioning of the local health system by developing their own action plans in undertaking awareness creation and sensitizing the communities behavioral change towards getting better health extension services in RH/FP.

  • 16 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    PHE Village Committee(left) and peer educators training(right)

    School PHE clubs on Discussion

    School level interventions: school clubs have been established in 10 schools and provided training in life skills and PHE in-tegratation. The school level interventions

    thorugh school PHE clubs has the intention of integrating the values of multi sectoral interventions into the school system.

    Women and youth economic empowerment was one of the key interventions of the project that was implemented with intention of ad-dressing gender issues and youth employment. This was implemented with the premise that women empowerment and youth employment has direct contribution to biodiversity conser-vation. The establishment of saving and credit cooper-atives (SACCO), seedling raising, energy saving stove production and marketing and sanitary marketing has been identified as important and potential women and youth economic empowerment activities. So far the project has supported the establishment of eight women saving and credit cooperatives, four energy

    saving stove and sanitary material producer youth groups, and six tree seedling producer youth groups. Eight women SACCOs were pro-vided with 100,000.00 for each Ethiopian Birr as seed money. The youth groups on the oth-er were supported with materials such as stove producing molds, sand, cement and other hand tools. All the youth groups were provided with trainings and continuous technical support on marketing. A total of 560 women and 40 youths have benefited from economic empowerment activities. The members of women SACCOs have been involved in business activities such as small ruminant and vegetable gardening and petty marketing.

  • Vol.1 No. 1 17

    Women SACCO Members meeting, Solo Kebele Dedo district

    SACCO members engaged in raring sheep

    “ My name is Fate, am 42 and a mother of four children living in Sola kebele, Dedo districtJimma zone. My daily work is to take care of my children and support my hus-band on farm. I spent most of my time in collecting fire woods and fetching water.it requires me a lot of fire woods particu-larly while making Injera. It consumes my time in collecting fire woods, above all I was inhaling much smoke that could affect

    my health. I was informed that organized youth in my kebele trained by PHEEC started to make energy saving stove. At the beginning I wasn’t as such interested, but later I learned while I was attending our regu-lar meeting of saving and credit association. Immediately, I con-sulted my husband and we de-cided to buy the stove. After the installment of the stove in my kitchen I have witnessed a lot of changes. In the first place the fire wood consumption consid-

    erably reduced, now it didn’t take me much of my time to make Injera. Secondly, I have observed that the smoke that used to over-whelm my kitchen significantly reduced. Thirdly I have now enough time to take care of my children and work on my homestead. I wish all women in my village use this stove that will completely change their life as my life has changed for better”.

  • 18 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    Coordination, integration and partnership

    Multi-sector taskforcesThe project has facilitated the establishment/strengthening of twelve multi-sectorial taskforces which are responsible for the coor-dination, integration, knowledge sharing and partnership to the wider communities at Ke-bele, district and zonal levels. The multi-sector taskforces in eight kebeles were established constituting all representatives of communities through the formal and informal/customary in-stitutions such as kebele administration, devel-

    opment extension office, health post, school, clan leaders, religious leaders, opinion leaders, youth, women and farmers association. Two district level taskforce were established con-stituting districts’ administration head, all sec-tor office heads, CSOs representatives, private companies and unions.Two zonal level taskforc-es were established constituting all zonal level stakeholders and woreda taskforce representa-tives.

    Role of Multi-sector Taskforce for integration, Coordination and Partnership: PHE EC’s Experience PHE EC has used multi-sector taskforces as an important tool for promoting integrat-ed interventions at operation level since its establishment. This multi-sector taskforce as a tool for integration, coordination and partnership was proved in the implementa-tion intervention in protected areas (PAs) in Semien Mountains, Awash and Bale Moun-tains national Parks. The project implemented in the Semien Mountains and Awash National Parks through the support of the Climate Institution Program (SCIP) of the Department for International Development (DFID), Norway and Denmark was proven experiences on the importance of multi-sector taskforces. The use of multi-sector taskforces in reinforcing the sustainable conservation practices through introducing shared management and addressing the socio-economic concerns was proved by ex-ternal evaluation report of the three years project implemented from 2013 to 2016.

    In addition, the multi-sector task forces were used in implementing the EU support-ed SHARE BER project aimed at conservation of biodiversity and creating community resilience. This project was focused on implementing Eco-regional approach in the South-eastern Ethiopia Landscape stretching over Bale and Arsi zones of Oromia Re-gional State. The multi-sector taskforces are strongly supporting establishing func-tional partnership and coordination to serve the purpose of better enforcement of policies, laws, strategies and actions.

    Jimma zone and Doreni district taskforces meeting,(left to right)

  • Vol.1 No. 1 19

    Packard High Level Visit to South west Ethiopia

    The David and Lucile Packard Foun-dation High delegates had visited the grantee project sites. The mem-bers of the high delegates were Dr. Walt Reid (Conservation and Sciences Director), Tamara Krein-in(Population and Reproductive Health Director), YemeserachBe-layneh(Ethiopia Country Advisor) and Dr. Kassahun Kelifa (ALC Coun-try Specialist). Executive Directors and program coordinators of ALC project of grantee organizations of Farm Africa, Oxfam, PHEEC, ECFF and EWNRA had also been part of the team. The visit was conducted from March 24-27, 2019.

    The activities during the field visit were:

    The first day activities include presentation on the overview of projects implemented by the grantees, progresses and case stories. Af-ter the presentation in Gambella, filed visit was conducted at the project site of Farm Africa in LulluAbabiora Zone.

    The second day activities were visiting the project activities implemented by PHEEC/EWN-RA in Doreni district. The visit includes discus-sion with PFM, SACCO and youth group mem-bers, and the beneficiaries of RH/FP.

    The field visit team traveled to Jimma on the third day and conducted a visit to PHEEC proj-ect activities at Dedo district on the fourth day. During the visit at Dedo, the team members had made discussion with the sustainable ag-riculture beneficiaries, Health Extension work-ers, Development Agents, women SACCO’s and youth groups.

    The feedback of the visit:

    Discussion with the community and PFM members at Doreni district

    Discussion with the community at Dedo district

    They reflected as the visit was so successful and useful for enriching and fine tuning their next step strategy

    They reflected as it was an important expo-sure to learn on integration both at operation and policy level

    They reflected to create better partnership and joint coordination for better complemen-tarity of the different actions (example among organization working on demand creation on reproductive health service with service supply)

    They reflected to refine our tools and meth-odologies based on practical field experiences and make them available for users (Example multi-sector platform, guide for SACCO and VSLA establishment, PHE Village Committee and gender mainstreaming)

    They also advised us to develop clear guide-line and implementation package on integra-tion and create clarity to partners and users

  • 20 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter


    Dr. Jemal AbafitaJimma UniversityPresident

    Dereje BekeleJimma UniversityAssistant Professor

    South West Ethiopia Land-scape (SWEL) Newsletter : Could you please briefly explain about yourself?

    Dr. Jemal Abafita: Jemal Abaf-ita is my name! I came to the top job (president) in the uni-versity in April 2019 and am about six months in that role. Prior to that, I have served as director for community services and engagement for nearly two years. I also served as director for grants and consultancy. Perhaps the important role that brought me closer to PHEEC was when I served as program manager to the VLIR-UOS Institutional Uni-versity Cooperation programme with Jimma University. I had the privilege to co-organize a con-ference on watershed manage-ment in the Gilgel Gibe catch-ment.

    SWEL Newsletter: The mot-to of Jimma University” we are in the community” and most

    CSO’s are also working at grass root level, how are you working with CSO’s?

    Dr. Jemal Abafita: Community Service (CS) is one of the pillars of JU as is the case with any oth-er HEI. However, very different from the nature and practice of CS in other universities. In par-ticular, it’s very much linked and intertwined with the university’s unique educational philosophy – the community based edu-cation (CBE). Moreover, special emphasis is attached to CS in relation to our motto “We are in the community” – as a means to enhance the quality and rel-evance of education to societal development through better in-tegration of teaching, research and services of the university (the 3 pillars). Viewed this way, JU is engaged in quite a broad range of CS, al-beit, with differing nature, scope depending on number of bene-

    South West Ethiopia Land-scape (SWEL) Newsletter : Could you please briefly explain about yourself?

    Dereje Bekele: I am Dereje Bekele, working for Jimma Uni-

    versity in the department of Natural Resources Management at an academic rank of Assistant professor; and by profession, I am a forester.

    SWEL Newsletter: Tell us about the value of south west?

  • Vol.1 No. 1 21

    ficiaries, stakeholder, etc; extent of engagement of community and stakeholders; source and type of funding; level and scope of delivery.

    Various offices and institution-al arrangements exist for the implementation of CS at JU: Centrally (Top and middle man-agement level); Colleges and academic departments; Re-search Institutes/centers; Spe-cialized offices: JU-Jimma City Linking Office, Offices of Special Advisors of the top manage-ment; University-wide director-ates: CSE, UIL-TT. The strategies followed for CS at JU include PPP, Community participation, Stakeholder forums, and cen-trally managed competitive funding schemes of CS proj-ects. The broad diversity of JU CSs notwithstanding, we can identify three major categories: CSs arising from JU research activities; CSs arising from JU teaching-learning and related activities; Contribution to local (community) development.

    In the course of implementing our research and CS roles, we

    work with several stakehold-ers of which CSOs take a good share.

    SWEL Newsletter: How are you working with PHE Ethiopia Consortium?

    Dr. Jemal Abafita: Joint re-search and community services (Omo Gibe river basin develop-ment for example), joint confer-ences; proceedings; joint fund-ing solicitation; UIL; community engagement; capacity building endeavors are some of the areas we have been working and con-tinue to work together.

    SWEL Newsletter: How is Jim-ma University engaged in South west Forest conservation? How is the University contributing to the south west community?

    Dr. Jemal Abafita: Environ-mental conservation and issues related to climate change are one of the strategic issues in our strategic plan (particularly in the research and CS strategic areas). Apart from the areas of collabo-ration we have had with PHEEC; we have been working with

    multiple partners and ministries in the area of Eco hydrology. We have been working as part of the Resilience Africa Network, have been implementing a research and institutional capacity build-ing program (for about 10 years) of which three to four projects were directly or indirectly in-volved in areas of forest ecolo-gy, environmental health, soil fertility, sedimentation, siltation, landslides, etc in the Gilgel Gibe catchment. We are currently in the process of establishing ‘In-stitute of resilience and climate change adaptation’.

    SWEL Newsletter: Finally, if you have any message?

    Jemal Abafita: As the challeng-es we are facing are becoming increasingly complex and inter-twined, there is a need to col-laborate and try to tackle them in collaborative manner and mobilize multiple stakeholders working together. Multidisci-plinary and holistic approach-es by multiple stakeholders are critical.

    Dereje Bekele:As compared to other parts, south-western part of Ethiopia is known to be rela-tively rich in biodiversity, which is composed of a number of diverse fauna and flora species. The high forests in this part of the country are known to be the center of origin and diversity for wild Coffea Arabica. Moreover, the area hosts four forest-based UNESCO recognized biosphere reserves (Kaffa, Yayu, Sheka and Majang).

    SWEL Newsletter: What are the potentials threats of south-west Ethiopia biodiversity re-sources?

    Dereje Bekele: Despite the rich natural resource endowment and biodiversity in the area, there are a number of threats

    associated with various anthro-pogenic activities that are chal-lenging their sustainable man-agement. These threats include agricultural land expansion for crop production by smallhold-er farmers; small and large scale investment activities; and illegal and unsustainable fuel wood timber extraction. For all these threats, the major underlying factors are demographic pres-sure coupled with poverty; and also policy and institutional fail-ures.

    SWEL Newsletter: What major studies do you have in relation to south west?

    Dereje Bekele: I do have ample research and outreach experi-ences in relation to the major challenges and possible solu-

    tions associated with the forest and other biodiversity resources in the south-western part of the country. My first research experi-ence was my M.Sc thesis on ‘Col-laborative Forest Management in Belete Gera Forest Priority Area: Prospects and Challenges’. Belete Gera Forest Priority Area, where I conducted my M.Sc research, and also where I had worked as a forest management expert before becoming a Uni-versity instructor and research-er, is one of the National Forest Priority Areas (NFPAs) found in this part of the country.

    The key finding in this study was that although the newly emerging participatory forest management(PFM) constitutes a major reform in the overall sustainable management of the

  • 22 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    forest resource, the difficulty in reconciling the local commu-nity’s livelihood improvement with the forest conservation is yet a major challenge that re-quires due consideration. In my other experiences too, I came across a more or less same findings where the biodiversi-ty conservation objectives are usually conflicting with other socio-economic or livelihood improvement options, main-ly with the agricultural devel-opment expansion. Therefore, such trade-offs between biodi-versity conservation and other development activities, such as agricultural development ex-pansions should be shifted to synergies through designing various innovative and holistic interventions.

    SWEL Newsletter: What do you think the added value of PHE intervention and approach in relation to southwest?

    Dereje Bekele: The most im-portant approach of PHE inter-ventions that I value most is its holistic and integrated interven-tions where it tries to address the three important dimensions of sustainable development: so-cial, economic and environmen-tal. Unless these three aspects are addressed in a well-integrat-ed and multi-sectoral approach, there is no way that we can achieve sustainable economic development.

    SWEL Newsletter: PHE proj-ects implemented through multi sectoral integration ap-proach what is your opinion in this regard?

    Dereje Bekele: The multi-sec-toral integration approach of PHE in my opinion is not a matter of choice, but it is man-datory for the current world facing complex and multi -fac-eted challenges. That is why; multi-sectoral integration is believed to be the major pre-requisite for realizing the 17

    Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the Unite Nations. To that end, the last goal of the UN-SDGs is stated as ‘promoting global partnership’ as a means for achieving all the remaining goals.

    SWEL Newsletter: As a member of the Jimma Zone multi-sectoral Taskforce how do you see the contribution ALC/PRH Project in conserving south west forest?

    Dereje Bekele: The role of ALC/PRH Project by PHEEC for con-serving the forest resource of South-western Ethiopia is enor-mous. It is known that the vari-ous components of the project (agriculture, livelihood and conservation; and population, reproductive health) are very much interconnected to each other. This means that they can have harmonious or conflicting interactions depending upon the way the interactions are managed. Both at global and national scales, ensuring food security for the rapidly and con-tinuously increasing population on one hand; and improving biodiversity conservation and enhancing ecosystem services on the other hand are identified to constitute the top challeng-es of sustainable development goals. The major challenging aspect of addressing these im-portant global and national is-sues is that they usually involve trade-offs or competitions. That means the conventional approach of agricultural land expansion driven by the rapid-ly growing population for en-suring food security has been usually identified as the major driver for deforestation and bio-diversity loss. Therefore, as the ALC/PRH project is working on addressing issues of food se-curity, livelihood improvement and biodiversity conservation in an integrated approach with population and reproductive health through multi-sector engagement, I do believe that

    the project can contribute to shifting the trade-offs and com-petitions among these issues to synergies so that they can com-plement each other. In other words, the project can contrib-ute to addressing some of the threats resulting in forest deg-radation and deforestation and thereby contribute to the cre-ation of harmonious interaction between human activities and their biophysical environment.

    SWEL Newsletter: What do you think project like ALC/PRH contribute to the community?

    Dereje Bekele: As this kind of project can balance the com-munity’s development needs or livelihood improvement as-pirations with the biodiversity conservation objectives, I do believe that it substantially con-tributes to the overall societal well-being. It is evident that so-cietal welfare depends on biodi-versity conservation resulting in various ecosystem services (pro-visioning, regulating, support-ing and cultural or aesthetic). Therefore, all basic necessities for humanity can only be met through maintaining the normal functioning of the natural eco-systems, which in turn depends on biodiversity conservation. The ALC /PRH project, therefore, can contribute to enhancing these ecosystem services for the ultimate benefit of the commu-nity through creating harmony among agriculture, livelihood and conservation.

    SWEL Newsletter: Finally, If you have any message?

    Dereje Bekele: My final mes-sage is that lessons and best practices of PHE intervention approaches in general and that of ALC /PRH project in particular should be scaled-up for wider application and for the ultimate contribution to the realization of our green development aspi-rations.

  • Vol.1 No. 1 23

    “ I am MelkameTilaye, 45 years old, wife with two children, beneficiary of the project at Henakebele, Dorenidistrict. First I received training on climate smart Agriculture at kebele level andI was provided with improved agri-cultural inputs of vegetable seeds, twenty Ba-nana seedlings , five grafted Avocado fruits and received of credit 2000 birr from HenaKebele Women’s Saving and Credit Cooperatives. Using the credit money I bought one goat with two small lambs and one medium sheep for rear-

    ing. I was informed by our kebele Development Agent on how to manage well take care of the goats and sheep. On my farm land I con-structed 200 meter of bio physical soil and water conservation soil bund on my highly eroded farm land. I planted vegetable crops beetroot, onion, carrot, cabbage and tomato on 0.1 hectare of land which hascontributed significantl-yin improving the living conditions of my family and pursue education for my children. In 2018, my to-tal selling of vegetable crop,after home consumption was4084.00 birr. In the same year I deposited 2000.00 birr in Cooperative Bank of Oromia and using the remaining I bought learning materials like text books formy two children who are atelementary and high school lev-el atDoreni town.Similarly in 2019 I have strengthened my vegetable crops garden and expecting more income.The same year I have re-

    ceived twenty improved Banana seedlings from the project and after one year the banana plant develop 3-4 suckers under eachbanana plant.This will improve the quantity of my bananas plant on the field to the highest level andwill enable me to increase my income.In addition, I am one of the model women in our kebele and member of PHE Village committee (PHEVC) teaching my community on RH/FP and gender issues. Generally as one of the beneficiaryof this project I have benefited and changed my-self and family life”.

    Vegetable garden of Melkame Tilaye

    Tools and publications

  • 24 South-west Ethiopia Landscape Newsletter

    Packard grantees project progress brie-fings at Gambella Ethiopia Hotel

    Youth groups in nursury training

    Youth groups in stove production

    Nursury site

    Produced stoves

    Packard visitors at Yayu Biosphere core area

    Pictorial stories at ALC/PRH site



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