Ethiopian Forest Regeneration Cooperative

Ethiopia is one of the poorest nations in the world with a per capita GDP of just US$619 per year. Its agricultural sector, which provides livelihoods for over 90 percent of the population, has been crippled by environmental degradation. Over-exploitation of forest resources has left less than 3% of Ethiopia’s native forests remaining. Severe erosion reduces the land’s capacity to absorb water, and has resulted in increasingly severe cycles of drought and flood.

The Sodo/Humbo Forestry Project aims to protect the strongly degraded forest on the slopes of the mountains and to plant new trees, supporting the long-term restoration of the ecosystem in the region. The project focuses on active participation from local community members, who are directly responsible for the project’s implementation. Revenue generated from the project is reinvested in local development initiatives, such as education, health and environmental protection projects.

The Sodo/Humbo project will sequester and store an estimated 1,052,183 tonnes of CO2e. The project uses Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) methodology to regrow vegetation from existing stumps and root stock., providing faster, more sustainable growth at a fraction of the cost of replanting trees from nursery stock.

Project impacts and benefits:

  • More than 2,000 jobs created
  • Restoration of 3,227 hectares of degraded native forests with indigenous and selected non-indigenous bio-diverse species
  • Improved environmental and social resilience to the impacts of climate change
  • Shared benefits for more than 50,000 people in the area
  • Protects more than 50 native tree species, including several on the Red List of Threatened Species. The planting of these native species restores the habitats of a multitude of local animal and plant species
  • Increased production of wood and tree products – including honey, medicine, fibre, fruit and wildlife – that contribute to household economies
  • Reduced erosion and increased soil fertility in the region
  • Improved land management, which has stimulated the growth of grass that can be used as fodder for livestock or cut and sold as an additional source of income
  • Improved water infiltration, resulting in the recharging of ground water and a reduction in flash flooding
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