In 2016, Ethiopia lost 20,000 hectares of forest, equivalent to 1.6Mt of CO₂ of emissions. While significant economic improvements have been made in recent years, environmental degradation presents a serious challenge for Ethiopians. With mounting population pressure, deforestation for more agricultural land has become a way of life for the poor to win daily bread. The majority of the population (approximately 100 million and growing) live in rural areas, relying on farming and livestock rearing for their income and survival.
Our partners have worked in the area since 2014, supporting communities to restore highly degraded lands. In two years (2014-2016), their work has seen much success: seedlings, saplings and trees more than doubled in size, soil moisture and infiltration increased, herbaceous cover significantly improved from 32% to 85%, mammal species reappeared in response to the improving ground cover. These communities are learning to manage their environment collectively, while benefiting from new economic opportunities through beekeeping and livestock.