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.
Project goals & activities
Many households satisfy their demand for fuel wood for cooking and heating by cutting trees from the available natural forests or woodlands and shrub lands, only small amounts are collected in plantation areas. This situation is one of the driving forces for deforestation. more →
Analysing the forests' state is an essential part of the project. The degree of forest fragmentation, growth or shrinking of forest borders and biomass is being reported. Experts will quantify the effects of the project on CO² emissions. International expert will accompany the monitoring. more →
The project component “Forest and Community Analysis” was conducted as one of the first activities of the overall project. During a timeframe of six month, the task was aimed at selecting appropriate sites for reforestation, establishment of community plantations and agroforestry systems. more →
The Ethiopian government considers tourism as one of the most important future source of income for the country. The number of international tourists is increasing every year. Furthermore, the initial situation in this region is really promising for the successful development of ecotourism. more →
10,000 hectare of forest in Kafa Biosphere Reserve will be put under a Participatory Forest Management System. By doing so the user rights of the forest will be transferred for 99 years to the local communities and the forest will serve as a long-term source of income through sustainable use. more →
Reforestation in the form of enrichment planting is taking place in fragmented and degraded natural forests of Kafa Biosphere Reserve. Through reforestation with native trees the provision of none timber forest products and ecosystem services will be improved and carbon storage increased. more →
Effective management of Kafa Biosphere Reserve and long-term financing are exceedingly important for preserving valuable habitats. To finance the management and day to day running of the reserve in the long run, a marketing concept and a fundraising program is being developed and realized. more →
A team of 30 rangers is trained and equipped as part of project and now patrolling core zones, supporting the various project activities such as monitoring and guiding tourists. They also raise awareness within the local population for the importance of climate and forest protection. more →
Micro credits have been very successful in Ethiopia and will be implemented in Kafa Biosphere Reserve as part of this project. Within the project, micro credits will be given for activities which not only increase the living standards of the borrower but also contribute to forest or climate conservation. more →
The overall climate protection and forest preservation project focuses on protection and sustainable management of the landscape. This broad aim will not be achievable without informing and involving the local communities so that they play their respective role in the project implementation. more →
To make the project known and accessible to other organisations and regions of the world, a comprehensive information campaign is being implemented. This includes informing the public through a project website, information material, at conferences and through regular workshops. more →
Partners, Downloads & links
The project is being implemented by NABU In partnership with the regional and local government and the knowledge and support of local and international experts. The project is financed as part oft the International Climate Initiative (ICI) by the German government. more →