Environmental Degradation and Management in Ethiopian Highlands: Review of Lessons Learned
About 50 percent of Ethiopia can be defined as mountainous, be it because of altitude above about 1500m, or because of steep slopes. The country’s highland areas include about 90% of its arable lands and are occupied by 90 percent of the human population and 60 percent of all livestock (Hurni, et al., 2010). Since 150,000 years ago population has expanded all over the highland parts of Ethiopia as they are very suitable places for living and agriculture than the malaria-infested harsh lowland areas surrounding the highlands. The Ethiopian Highlands, once endowed with rich natural resources, are agriculturally used since millennia and now heavily degraded (Gete, 2010). The interplay between the physical environment and population distribution in Ethiopia explains, to a great extent, the ever worsening problem of environmental degradation (Aklilu, 2001). Environmental management in Ethiopian highlands is therefore not only closely related to the improvement and conservation of ecological environment, but also to the sustainable development of Ethiopia’s agricultural sector and its economy at large. In Ethiopia, efforts towards this conservation goal were started since the mid-1970s and 80s (Aklilu, 2006; Wogayehu and Drake, 2001; Bekele and Holden, 1998). However, some of the management approaches were successful and other not. Therefore, the paper identifies opportunities to promote and scales up the successful best management practices and identifies challenges to put into practice different management practices which give preparation for environmental managers.
Environmental Degradation and Management in Ethiopian Highlands: Review of Lessons Learned, International Journal of Environmental Protection and Policy.
Vol. 2, No. 1,
2014, pp. 24-34.
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