Protecting the Last Cloud Forests of Ethiopia
Preserving the wild coffee forests in Kafa Biosphere Reserve
The remaining afromontane cloud forests in the south-west of Ethiopia are an exceptional natural heritage site and home to numerous animal and plant species, some of them endemic. The region is considered to be the birthplace of Arabica coffee, one of the finest coffees in the world. It first grew here 1,000 of years ago wild in the undergrowth of the forest. Around 5,000 varieties grow wild in these forests – a tremendous range of genetic diversity.
The afromontane cloud forests are also known as Ethiopia’s green lungs. They ensure rainfalls in the region, which feed rivers of nationwide importance. These forests are an important source of food and income for local communities and are considered as an important carbon reservoir with a significant role for global climate protection due to their immense amount of biomass.
NABU and its partners have worked towards the preservation of these forests through the establishment of the UNESCO Kafa Biosphere Reserve in June 2010 and through its project: "Climate Protection and Preservation of Primary Forests – A Management Model using the Wild Coffee Forests in Ethiopia as an Example“. The project is funded by the International Climate Initiative (IKI) from the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB).
The project focuses on forest and climate protection, providing support to the Kafa Biosphere Reserve and improving the livelihoods of the local communities.