Monitoring for conservation
Assess ecosystems, carbon storage and indicator species
In the past four years a monitoring of forest and carbon has been developed and implemented with the local team of 30 rangers. With the help of smart phones, a near-real time monitoring could be accomplished tracking and following up forest changes occurring due to fire, logging or agricultural activities. This monitoring will be continued in the coming three years with the help of an experts’ team in order to follow up the forests’ status and the project’s impacts.
At regular intervals and with the help of local rangers, the degree of forest fragmentation, growth or shrinking of forest borders, biomass and selected species as indicator species for biodiversity will be recorded for the Kafa Biosphere Reserve and a 20 km surrounding leakage area.
However, up to now, the Kafa Biosphere Reserve’s species biodiversity remained insufficiently recorded and regularly mapped. In particular, the numerous rivers and wetlands have hardly been explored in their complexity and significance. Past studies of the region's flora, fauna, biomass and biodiversity document a high diversity of species: 300 species of mammals including 14 carnivores as well as 8 monkey, 300 bird, 244 plant species and more than 110 tree species amongst others.
In order to develop an effective biodiversity monitoring as well as ecosystem adopted management plans and single species action plans for the Kafa Biosphere Reserve, the biodiversity needs to be thoroughly assessed.
The project therefore includes an international biodiversity assessment with Ethiopian and international experts. The results from the assessment will deliver additional data on species diversity, indicator species in order to measure the ecosystems’ “health” and disturbance. Following this baseline survey, the gathered data will be analysed and incorporated into a biodiversity monitoring scheme and recommendations for conservation and management will be developed.
The monitoring including accompanying research also helps to follow up one of the three main features of UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme (MAB) at Kafa Biosphere Reserve.
The forest inventory and monitoring concept will be developed and implemented by Wageningen University.