In the highlands of northern Ethiopia, where the landscape is dry and highly vulnerable to land degradation and climate change, we are restoring areas of non-productive land (“no-go” zones) in partnership with Trees for Farmers. These areas are protected from agricultural practices and grazing and are restored through the planting of native tree species. Here, increasing forest cover is the key to restoring ecosystem services, delivering water to downstream croplands that can stimulate livelihood improvement and creating a microclimate. It also contributes to Africa’s Great Green Wall initiative. The project encompasses a livelihood development component to engage the surrounding communities in sustainable income activities. Surrounding villages are empowered to engage in community-based nurseries and forestry activities. The project will benefit the deteriorated landscape and ecosystem and build the resilience of the local communities.
Large swathes of Tigray’s dry Afromontane forests and hillsides have been cleared primarily for agriculture and wood extraction, in addition to illegal charcoal production, leaving less than 1% of Tigray forested. Tigray’s rural people rely heavily on these activities for their income, but livelihoods are becoming increasingly vulnerable in the face of severe drought, soil erosion, deforestation and El Niño. Tigray’s forests can provide much needed opportunities for communities to become more resilient through their natural capital. They also play a key role in regulating atmospheric temperatures and are rich in biodiversity.
The total above-ground biomass is estimated to average 32.66 tons of CO2 per hectare over a period of 20 years