- Learning Network
Challenges · Biodiversity
Tropical Wet & Dry
The Bale-West Arsi Eco-region is mainly located in Oromia National Regional State, Bale and West Arsi Zonal Administrations. The eco-region is further extend to Southern and Somalia Regional States. This landscape is significant for socio-economic development, biodiversity conservation, water resources, carbon sinks and for several other benefits contributing to local, regional, and global scales. The landscape hosts the largest afro-alpine plateau, and is home to rich biodiversity. This biodiversity includes some of the rarest (endemic) animal and plant species on earth, such as the Ethiopian Wolf (Canis simensis) and Mountain Nyala (Tragellapus buxtoni). This landscape also hosts the biggest relic natural forest cover of the country. Its mountain and forest ecosystems are the source of more than 40 streams flowing to the adjacent lowlands and downstream areas. It also has hydroelectric dams and fertile land conducive for mechanized farming. Crop cultivation and livestock rearing are the two dominant economic activities in the rural areas.
Participatory Forest Management (PFM) is an encouraging practice of Forest User Associations (FUAs) in the eco-region. They are promoting the use of Non-Timber Forest Products (NTFP); However, there is a need to further develop the capacities of cooperatives in terms of financial, technical, and leadership skills.
In the landscape, the following lead actors are collaborating for management:
(a) Bale Mountains National Park, managed by Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Agency
(b) Bale Eco-Region Sustainable Management Programme (BERSMP) that jointly run by FARM-Africa, SOS Sahel Ethiopia and Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise (OFWE) with the support of many Civil Societies (Frankfurt Zoological society, Population, Health and Environment Consortium, etc), and international/ bilateral funding institutions.
(c) Participatory Forest Management activities that are run by Forest Users’ Cooperatives under close support of Zonal and Woreda Offices of Agriculture, Land Administration and NGOs/CSO (Farm Africa/SOS Sahel, Frankfurt Zoological Society, Norwegian Embassy, GIZ (former GTZ).
(d) Meda Welabo University and Sinana Agricultural Research Center
These actors are beginning to work together more to strengthen their collaboration. In particular, they are improving the capacities of the Agricultural and Rural Development Partners Liaison Advisory Council (ARDPLAC) platform to establish & lead an actors’ platform at the landscape level.