Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) in Ethiopia: Progress and Prospects

Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) in Ethiopia: Progress and Prospects

Belay Zerga1, 2, Bikila Workineh 1, 3 , Demel Teketay4 , Muluneh Woldetsadik5
1.Center for Environmental Science, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Addis Ababa University; 2.Department of Natural Resources Management, College of Agriculture and Natural Resource, Wolkite University; 3.Department of Plant Biology and Biodiversity Management, College of Natural and Computational Sciences, Addis Ababa University; 4.Department of Crop Science and Production, Botswana University of Agriculture and Natural Resources (BUAN); 5.Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, College of Social Sciences, Addis Ababa University

Journal of Theoretical and Applied sciences

This paper critically reviewed the status of Participatory or Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) in the case of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is located in the Horn of Africa between 3o and 15o North latitude and 33o and 48o east longitude. The country covers 1.13 million square kilometers, with a wide altitudinal variation ranging from 110 meters below sea level (b.s.l.) in Kobar Sink (Dallol) to 4,620 meters above sea level (a.s.l.) at Ras Dashen (Ras Dejen). The Great African Rift Valley runs diagonally across the country from northeast to southwest separating the western and southeastern highlands. This physiographic feature enabled the ecosystems to host a great diversity of flora and fauna resources. The flora of Ethiopia is estimated to comprise about 6,500-7,000 plant species; 12 per cent of these plant species considered as endemic. Forests provide numerous ecosystem services, products for human consumption, and habitat for countless species. Unfortunately, deforestation has occurred at alarming scales and its effects have threatened environmental and livelihood sustainability. In Ethiopia, for the most part, forests have been managed under the support of national agencies, often with the exclusion or outright removal of local people. No sustainable forest management program has been put in place due to lack of adequate funding and stable structural set up for the forestry sector. To combat this problem Participatory or Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) is accepted throughout the world and in Ethiopia currently. This is due to the recognition that communities are the direct users of the forests and no one can care adjacent forests without the full involvement of the society. CBFM is one attempt to reverse deforestation, and, by doing so, preserves ecological services and products that provide local communities with ways to secure livelihoods. CBFM has also grown in practice because centralized management of natural resources has often neglected the rights of indigenous and local communities that once inhabited rural areas. Unless a strong measure is taken to develop the already dwindled forest resources, no question, the country will turn out to be a barren land in the near future, unable to support life. Therefore, efforts have to be made to create conducive environment, such as clear policy frame work and other supportive rules and regulations, efficient bureaucratic procedures to encourage the involvement of the community in the forestry conservation and development activities. The relevant law on CBFM has to be in place. If there is an effective law that has a strong mechanism to enforce it there by correcting the situation with the forestry sector of the country will change the land use/land cover of the country. Thus, various stakeholders like concerned international and national bodies especially decision makers, planners, local government bodies, higher institutions, academicians, the private sectors, professional associations, development practitioners and the communities have to tightly participate in forest conservation and management areas, in order to scale up participatory or community based forest management.

Keywords:   Community based forest management (CBFM), NGO’s, Participatory forest management (PFM), Historical development of forest management, Ethiopia

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Belay Zerga, Bikila Workineh , Demel Teketay, Muluneh Woldetsadik.Community Based Forest Management (CBFM) in Ethiopia: Progress and Prospects .Journal of Theoretical and Applied Sciences, 2019, 2:8


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