Exploring ecological and socio-economic issues for the improvement of area enclosure management: a case study from Ethiopia.

Exploring ecological and socio-economic issues for the improvement of area enclosure management: a case study from Ethiopia.

Improving management policies to address land degradation in Ethiopia

Land degradation is a severe problem across sub-Saharan Africa, and Ethiopia is among the most affected countries. To stop further land degradation, the government of Ethiopia has initiated a number of projects including soil and water conservation works and the establishment of Area Enclosures (AEs) with the financial assistance of international donors, mainly the World Food Program (Betru, 2003). In spite of the impressive results of the ecological rehabilitation and improvements of productivity, many communities have had a bad experience with AEs in the past due to uncertainty and the lack of clarity of land tenure and public land use policy in the country. Due to these uncertainties, the communities did not have decision making power in the management and utilisation of the resources. In addition, they could not use grass and wood produced in the AEs. This study aims to develop guidelines to support the government in developing management plans with a clear land tenure and land use policy for the sustainable management of AEs. Field work was carried out in 4 Regional States: Tigray, Amhara, Oromya and Southern Nations and Nationalities and Peoples Region.

Detailed recommendations of the report cover a number of areas:

  • data on area enclosures
  • community interest and benefits from area enclosures
  • protection of AEs
  • management systems
  • participation
  • gender issues
  • membership to the AEs
  • grazing management
  • management of wildlife population
  • choice of tree species
  • management plans
  • institutional and policy issues
  • linkages and coordination
  • staff training
  • expansion of AEs?
  • further studies required
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