- Learning Network
Challenges · Agroforestry · Climate Change · Landscape Restoration
Tropical Wet & Dry
The Humbo Carbon Landscape is found in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People Regional State, Wolayita Administration Zone at Humbo Woreda. It lies on a continuous mountain chain shared by seven Kebele Administration units. The landscape is fully covered with forest and the people living in the foot slopes of the mountain chains depend on livestock and rainfed crop production, using mainly maize.
The landscape is home to the Humbo Carbon Project, started in 1996 through the Farmer Managed Natural Resource Regeneration (FMNR) approach with the support of World Vision International. Seven Forest Protection and Development Cooperatives were organized in 2006 and currently form a Union responsible for the rehabilitation and management of the forest landscape.
I graduated with a BSc in Natural Resource Management from Wolaita Sodo University. I have over four years of experience on the coordination of natural resource development and management and also the coordination of all activity in the Humbo Carbon Project which was the first carbon project in Africa. Integrated landscape Management is important to me because it brings together human needs in a way that’s sustainable for the future generation while giving additional income and improving the livelihood of the people who use it. It integrates upstream and downstream needs with in one landscape. This landscape is a unique project in both Ethiopia and Africa which has widespread benefits.Meseret Bekele Toma Humbo Carbon Project
The central focus of Humbo Carbon landscape operating through FMNR is to rehabilitate degraded forest areas and increase regeneration, reduce carbon emissions and increase carbon sequestration by closing degraded forest area. Therefore, the focus is to generate benefit from the sale of the carbon offset credit. While closing the degraded forest areas was the main activity, different strategies and interventions were also planned as alternative livelihood strategies. Among these interventions, SWC and the afforestation of abandoned degraded hills, zero grazing, planting of multipurpose trees and shrubs, nursery development for both trees and fruits, establishing woodlots and distributing energy saving stoves were implemented. While conserving the environment, there were efforts to integrate livelihood improvement options through livestock production, seed and fruit production and social services. Since the project area is a forest landscape, interventions related to agriculture is minimum. Thus, the level of understanding of ILM is mainly focused on conservation of the forest biodiversity and sequester carbon.
The landscape approach in Humbo is focused on farmer-led forest protection and development/carbon interventions. The approach provides a triple point benefit from the carbon project: carbon sequestration, land management, and livelihood improvement.
There are successes related to the transformation of the landscape from barren to green mountain which resulted in the regeneration of indigenous vegetation, re-establishing habitat for wild animals, reduction of soil erosion and improving infiltration on foot slope areas, adaptation of multipurpose trees and shrubs, and the dramatic increase in annual carbon sequestration from above ground woody biomass from 6.1 t CO2/ha/yr to 30.9 t CO2 /ha/yr. An additional benefit generated from closed forest landscape is the huge amount of grass biomass harvest for animal feed, sale, and house construction. These achievements help cooperatives provide income from the carbon trade (Birr 6,050,557.9 transferred to the cooperatives), which is used by the members for establishing a saving and credit association and other infrastructures such as flour mill, grain store, retail shop for basic industrial items, developing potable water sources, etc. Cooperative members also benefited from sale of grass, tree seed, honey, and fuel wood (braches). The landscape is used as experience sharing and learning ground for schools and visitors from different areas.