Ethiopia

Scenario development for conservation of landscapes and ecosystems in Awash and Hallaydeghe area

 

In semi-arid lowlands of eastern Ethiopia Succow Foundation is developing scenarios to further develop the national parks Awash and Hallaydeghe-Asebot to better integrate them in the surrounding areas. The region is characterised by open grasslands, acacia and thorn bush savannahs and is habitat for many wildlife species as of Beisa oryx, Soemmering’s gazelle, ostrich and the endangered Grevy Zebra. The main land use type of the local population is nomadic pasture grazing with cattle, camel, goat and sheep.

 

But droughts and climate change, large scale conversion of fertile soils in sugar cane plantations and the fast spreading of the invasive thorn bush Prosopis juliflora lead to growing scarcity of grazing lands, especially in dry seasons. This results in further degradation of the remaining pastures and increasing grazing activities, also within the national park areas. The former co-existence between wildlife and domestic animals is now turning into competition for grazing land, fodder and water resources. The wildlife populations are decreasing and wildlife partly migrates to find better areas for grazing and water.

When the land areas are under increasing competition of pasture use, sugar cane cultivation and nature protection, conflicts between the respective sectors will get worse and will make the conservation of protected ecosystems and wildlife species impossible.

 

The study of Succow Foundation determines strategies how to use the scarce land resources together with local authorities, NGOs and community representatives of four districts, in order to find ways integrating the national parks better in the surrounding areas. The main approach is participatory land use planning with local people and authorities, especially for grazing lands, by which certain areas are identified for dry and rainy season pastures for a particular number of livestock. This approach should support the livelihood of the pastoralists and conserve important ecosystems and wildlife species.

 

The project is financed by German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ).

 

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Project coordination:

Renée Moreaux, email: renee.moreaux(at)succow-stiftung.de