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Deforestation and a Strategy for Rehabilitation in Beles Sub Basin, Ethiopia

Abstract: 

The Benishangul Gumuz region is identified as one of the growth corridors of Ethiopia with an untapped common pool of resources. However the region’s abundant natural resources are not yet adequately utilized in a planned, integrated and systematic manner. In connection to this, the country has initiated and implemented large-scale development projects such as the Renaissance Dam of Ethiopia and the Tana-Beles sugar factory in the Beles sub basin region. This study is undertaken to design a strategy in the Beles sub basin to curtail deforestation. It focuses on estimating the pattern and magnitude of deforestation and the triggering factors of for it. The study uses NDVI data to analyze the rate of deforestation and the associated biodiversity loss. Key informants interview and focus group discussions were held to generate the required data. Secondary data on ecological and socio-economic issues were obtained from different GIS and Satellite images, which were downscaled using NDVI technique. The result shows that deforestation and the resulting environmental degradation were the major problems in the Beles sub basin of Ethiopia. High population pressure, agricultural land expansion, large-scale investments, uncontrolled wildfire, illegal logging, firewood and charcoal production, and the new villagization program were found to be the main drivers of deforestation. As a result, environmental consequences such as climate change, massive deforestation in the name of investment and migration of animal such as lions, elephants and buffaloes to Sudan were a few of the overwhelming problems. This may also strongly threaten the food security, community livelihood and sustainable development in the region. Therefore, continuous water, land and forest conservation activity by local communities based on the principles of collective actions and participatory forest management (PFM) is recommended. Furthermore, frequent awareness creation on wildfire protection, modern charcoal production, Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) preparation and implementation for large scale agricultural investments, and implementation of voluntary villagization program is suggested for long run effective use of the Beles basin natural resources

Corporate Author: 
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
Publisher: 
Ethiopian Economics Association (EEA)
ISBN/ISSN: 
978-99944-54-45-7
Primary Descriptors: 

biodiversity loss

Geographic Descriptors: 
Ethiopia, Benishangul Gumuz and Amhara Region
Cataloge Date: 
10/02/2015
Broad Subject heading: 
Deforestation
Call Number: 
330.963 PRO 2015
Serial Key Title: 
Proceedings of the Twelfth International Conference on the Ethiopian Economy
Publication catagory: 
Content type: 
Volume: 
II
Publication date: 
2015-06-01 00:00:00
Conference Place: 
EEA Conference Center
Place of publication: 
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Type of material: 
Book
Current frequency: 
Annually
Conference date: 
July 16 to 19, 2014