Participatory Forest Management
Forest protection and income generation for local people
It is recognized that biodiversity conservation is a pre-requisite for sustainable development, and that for biodiversity conservation to succeed the maintenance of environmental integrity (as defined by ecological, economic and social criteria) must be one of the primary determinants of land-use planning. The management and use of the natural resources of the area in order to increase economic growth and promote social inclusion must therefore reflect the protection of the ecological integrity.
The promotion of economic activities that are environmentally sustainable would help restore and protect the integrity of the environment. In addition, the derivation of income from the sustainable use of natural resources would promote an interest in the conservation of these resources.
The local communities in the Kafa Zone are highly dependent on the forest resources for their livelihoods. The coffee forest of the Kafa Zone is a source of None Timber Forest Products (NTFPs) such as coffee, useful fruits, medicine, spices, honey, beeswax and timber products like firewood, charcoal, bamboo, building materials, etc. These NTFPs could provide economic advantages for the people of Kafa. Linking poverty alleviation and forest conservation could be achieved by stimulating the non-timber forest production and trade as a means towards economic advancement rather than as a means for poverty prevention.
Participatory Forest Management has already been implemented in some areas of Kafa Biosphere Reserve but needs to be extended in order to secure the protection of the forest and economic benefits for its inhabitants at the same time.
The aim of this assignment is to put further 10,000 hectares (a total of 16 areas) of Kafa forest under a Participatory Forest Management System. By doing so potential income for the local people will be increased through sustainable use and sale of forest products such as wild-growing coffee.
To realize this task, NABU cooperates with the Kafa Coffee Farmers Cooperative Union, who has contracted a team of four local PFM experts and one coordinating team leader to plan and implement PFM throughout the project duration.