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Now showing items 1 - 16 of 19

  • Trends and drivers of land use/land cover change in Western Ethiopia

    Betru, Teshome   Tolera, Motuma   Sahle, Kefyalew   Kassa, Habtemariam  

    Understanding the magnitude, direction and agents of land use/land cover change (LU/LCC) are important for planning sustainable management of natural resources. To this end, this study assessed the trends of LU/LCC and its drivers in Western Ethiopia. Landsat images of MSS (1978), TM (1986, 1991 and 2010), ETM + (1999) and OLI (2013 and 2016) were used to study the dynamics of LU/LCC. The land use/land cover (LU/LC) maps for each period were classified using a hybrid method by merging the outputs of supervised classification and intensive on-screen-digitizing techniques. The drivers of LU/LCC were studied using key informant interviews (KII) and focus group discussions (FGD). Four major LU/LC types namely forest, agriculture, shrub/grass, and settlement were identified with overall accuracies ranging from 91% to 94%. The result shows that forest was the dominant LU/LC type accounting for 69% in 1978 which later reduced to 13, 8.5 and 6.5 percent point (pp) in 1991, 2010, and 2016, respectively. Shrub/grasslands were also reduced by 11 pp from 2010 to 2016. Expansion of agricultural land was the major driver showing a radical increase by 13 pp between 2013 and 2016. Forest cover showed a reduction of 28 pp over the 38 years of the study period. In particular, 21.3%, 26%, and 16.6% of the forest was converted to shrub/grassland from 1986 to 1991, 1991 to 2010 and 2010 to 2016, respectively. But from 2010 to 2016, 19.13% of forest was converted to agriculture. The study showed that forest was first changed to shrub/grasslands and finally end up in agriculture showing that degradation is leading to deforestation. The result of FGDs and KIIs also showed that both small-scale subsistence agriculture and largescale commercial agriculture are the major proximate drivers of deforestation in the study area. Population pressure from a multi-sourced and continued inflow of immigrants, lack of integrated institutional frameworks and unsustainable exploitations of forest products are the major underlying causes of the observed changes. Proper land use planning, legal backing, and institutional integration are key recommendations to sustain forest resources of the study area.
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  • Trends and drivers of land use/land cover change in Western Ethiopia

    Betru, Teshome   Tolera, Motuma   Sahle, Kefyalew   Kassa, Habtemariam  

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  • Re-Greening Ethiopia: History, Challenges and Lessons

    Lemenih, Mulugeta   Kassa, Habtemariam  

    In Ethiopia, deforestation rates remain high and the gap between demand and domestic supply of forest products is expanding, even though government-initiated re-greening efforts began over a century ago. Today, over 3 million hectares (ha) of degraded forest land are under area exclosure; smallholder plantations cover 0.8 million ha; and state-owned industrial plantations stagnate at under 0.25 million ha. This review captures experiences related to re-greening practices in Ethiopia, specifically with regards to area exclosure and afforestation and reforestation, and distills lessons regarding processes, achievements and challenges. The findings show that farmers and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) are the main players, and that the private sector has so far played only a small role. The role of the government was mixed: supportive in some cases and hindering in others. The challenges of state-and NGO-led re-greening practices are: inadequate involvement of communities; poorly defined rehabilitation objectives; lack of management plans; unclear responsibilities and benefit-sharing arrangements; and poor silvicultural practices. The lessons include: a more active role for non-state actors in re-greening initiatives; more attention to market signals; devolution of management responsibility; clear definition of responsibilities and benefit-sharing arrangements; and better tenure security, which are all major factors to success.
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  • Dry forest based livelihoods in resettlement areas of Northwestern Ethiopia

    Abebaw, Degnet   Kassa, Habtemariam   Kassie, Girma T.   Lemenih, Mulugeta   Campbell, Bruce   Teka, Worku  

    While the importance of forests for livelihoods has long been well-recognized, empirical knowledge of the factors influencing the extent and diversity of household engagement in the extraction of forest products across different socio-economic groups remains limited. In this paper, we use primary data collected through a household survey of 180 households in a resettled dry forest areas of Northwestern Ethiopia. The paper mainly aims at identifying the main drivers of household behavior regarding collection of main forest products in the context of dry forest environment. A multivariate probit analysis was used to explain variation in household participation in collection of different forest products. The results show that households' participation in collection of different forest products is significantly determined by a combination of household demographic characteristics, ownership of oxen and of cows, proximity to forest, access to health and school infrastructure, resettlement history and self-reported change in standard of living. The estimation results also suggest households most likely to engage in collection of forest honey, gum, and wood for fuel and other purposes are those located farther from the forest. Policy implications and outlook for further study are discussed in the paper. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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  • Can rural outmigration improve household food security? Empirical evidence from Ethiopia

    Abebaw, Degnet   Admassie, Assefa   Kassa, Habtemariam   Padoch, Christine  

    Food insecurity in Ethiopia is a persistent development challenge. In this paper, we investigate the effects of rural outmigration on indicators of household food security in Ethiopia. The empirical data come from a two-year panel data collected from three regions of the country. To control for the potential endogeneity of migration and migration selection bias, our estimation uses a combination of a difference-in-difference (DID) model and an inverse-probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) approach (IPTW-DID). We find that, on average, rural outmigration has significantly improved the amount of daily calories consumed per adult equivalent by around 22%. Our estimation results also show that outmigration has significantly reduced food poverty gap and severity of food poverty by seven and four percentage points, respectively. (C) 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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  • Socio-ecological vulnerability to climate change/variability in central rift valley,Ethiopia

    Mekonnen, Zenebe   Woldeamanuel, Teshale   Kassa, Habtemariam  

    Climate change/variability and environmental degradation have increased in the central rift valley of Ethiopia, which in turn making the people inhabiting in that ecosystem more vulnerable to the impacts. The purposes of this study were to assess the vulnerability of households and agro-ecosystems to climate change and environmental degradation and the factors determining vulnerabilities in the central rift valley, Ethiopia. Data were collected between November 2014 and May 2015 by interviewing 355 respondents. This has been supplemented with focus group discussions and key informant interviews. The indicator and matrix methods were used to describe socio-ecological vulnerabilities. The results showed that about 9% of the respondents were highly vulnerable to climate change/variability, and environmental degradation. Households in the lowland have the largest proportion of high vulnerable households (60%), while households in highland have the largest proportion of low vulnerable households (30%). In the lowland agro-ecology, the adaptive capacity component has contributed the largest share to household's vulnerability index to the impacts of climate change/variability and environmental degradation. The sensitivity component has higer contribution in highland agro-ecology and the exposure component in the midland agro-ecology. There were variations of income deviation between agro-ecologies that lead to variation in vulnerability of households. Household vulnerability index has shown a very light negative correlation with livelihood diversification index. The poorest households with little share of the total income distribution and with low livelihood diversity index, were the most vulnerable. The results showed that the highest exposure index on ecosystem functions and agricultural performance were in the lowland agro-ecology. This study highlighted the need to assess the social and ecological vulnerabilities in integrated approach as singling out one from the other is difficult. That is, social vulnerability impacts ecological vulnerability and vice versa.
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  • Socio-ecological vulnerability to climate change/variability in central rift valley, Ethiopia

    MEKONNEN, Zenebe   WOLDEAMANUEL, Teshale   KASSA, Habtemariam  

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  • Reading the Landscape Past: Explaining the Lack of On-Farm Tree Planting in Ethiopiad

    Kassa, Habtemariam   Bekele, Melaku   Campbell, Bruce  

    Although tree planting initiatives by the state began by the end of the nineteenth century, on-farm tree planting has not been widespread, particularly on plots outside homesteads. Farmers particularly in central and northern Ethiopia are limited to growing trees mainly at homesteads indicating the need to identify the underlying discouraging factors. This paper examines the historical trend and current status of tree planting by smallholder farmers. In addition to reviewing historical and legal documents, the study solicited farmers' opinions and used maps and satellite images to examine past and recent features of a site in southern Ethiopia that represents the southern Rift Valley areas of the country and is characterised by low to medium tree cover. Major policy failures identified, and which persisted over a long period of time, include lack of tenure security, historical background that promoted free grazing, political and institutional instability, abrupt and radical changes in rural development policies and strategies and market distortions due to de facto open access of forest resources on the one hand and price control and lengthy permit requirements to sell wood and wood products produced on farms on the other. Unless these issues are addressed, the degrading landscapes will be worse off. The study clearly demonstrates that, in developing countries like Ethiopia, stable institutions, secure tenure and enabling policies are critical if tree planting is to be promoted for meeting farmers' own needs and growing market demands and thus increasing rural household income.
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  • Analysis of observed and perceived climate change and variability in Arsi Negele District,Ethiopia

    Mekonnen, Zenebe   Kassa, Habtemariam   Woldeamanuel, Teshale   Asfaw, Zebene  

    Climate change and variability has been detected in Ethiopia. Smallholder and subsistence farmers, pastoralists and forest-dependent households are the most hit by climate-related hazards. They have to have perception of climate change in order to respond it through making coping and/or adaptation strategies. Local perceptions and coping strategies provide a crucial foundation for community-based climate change adaptation measures. This study was specifically designed to (1) assess households' perception and knowledge in climate change and/or variability, and (2) establish the observed changes in climate parameters with community perceptions and climate anomalies. Purposive stratified random sampling method has been used to gather information from 355 sample households for individual interviews supplemented by group discussion and key informants interviews. The analysis of observed and satellite climate data for the study district showed that mean maximum and minimum temperature for the period 1983-2014 has increased by 0.047 and 0.028 degrees C/year, respectively. However, the total rainfall has declined by 10.16 mm per annum. Seasonally, the rainfall has declined by 2.198, 4.541, 1.814 and 1.608 mm per annum for Ethiopian summer, spring, autumn and winter seasons, respectively. Similarly, the mean maximum temperature of the study area had showed an increment of 0.035, 0.049, 0.044 and 0.065 degrees C per year for spring, winter, autumn and summer seasons, respectively. The observed climate variation has been confirmed by people's perception. Considering what had been the existed situations before 30 years ago as normal, an increase in temperature, an increase in drought frequency, a decrease in total rainfall, erratic nature of its distribution and the tardiness of its onset had been perceived by 88, 70, 97, 80 and 94% of the respondents, respectively, at current time-2015. Deforestation as a casual factor of climate change and variability had been perceived by 99.7% of the respondents. This had been also confirmed by scientific studies as it emits carbon dioxide and is the main driver of climate change and variability. Indigenous knowledge, including climate predictions, has been used by people to implement their day-to-day agricultural activities. Therefore, science should be integrated with the perception and indigenous knowledge of people to come up with concrete solution for climate change and variability impacts on human livelihoods.
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  • Livestock Improve Household Food Security and Sustainability of Ethiopian Small Farms

    Kassa, Habtemariam   Gibbon, David   Singh, Bharat P.  

    The role of livestock in determining the socio-economic status, food security and sustainability of smallholder mixed farms was studied during 1999 and 2000 in the Harar Highlands of Eastern Ethiopia. Community level information on farm households was collected using semi-structured interviews, key informant interviews, and field observations. A well-being instrument was developed on the basis of community level data to rank the households into poor, medium, and well-to-do categories. Detailed characterization of the households in the three groups was carried out by an in-depth case study of individual farms followed by a wider scale formal survey. Community level interviews revealed that smallholders considered meeting household food requirements and maintaining soil fertility of farm plots most important for farm sustainability. The energy content of the food consumed by a farm family and the soil humus balance of annually cropped plots were used as proxy indicators for household food balance and soil fertility, respectively. Case study revealed that medium and well-to-do were high in household energy adequacy levels and positive in humus balance in annually cropped plots. Livestock accounted for 27% of the total household energy supply. In contrast, food supply in the poor category was 15% below the adequacy level and the field humus balance was negative. Poor had minimal livestock holding and livestock contributed only 2% of the total household energy supply. Results from the farm survey were similar to the case study. Medium and well-to-do had positive household food balance (180 +/- 20.6%, and 186 +/- 17.8%, respectively) and humus balance (385 kg/ha and 360 kg/ha, respectively) while poor had deficit household food balance (65 +/- 15.8%) and negative soil humus balance (-365 kg/ha). The contribution of livestock to total household energy supply varied significantly (P < 0.01) with the farm category, and accounted for 3.1 (0-5.7%), 23 +/- 6.8% and 17 +/- 7.9% of the total in the poor, medium and well-to-do, respectively. The results suggest that farms with less than one Tropical Livestock Units are not sustainable in the Harar Highlands of Eastern Ethiopia. Therefore, any agricultural development initiative in Ethiopia must include both crop and animal components for success. (C) 2002 by The Haworth Press, Inc. All rights reserved.
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  • Expansion of Eucalypt Farm Forestry and Its Determinants in Arsi Negelle District, South Central Ethiopia

    Jenbere, Dereje   Lemenih, Mulugeta   Kassa, Habtemariam  

    Declining natural forests and growing demands for wood products are encouraging the rapid expansion of eucalypt farm forestry in Ethiopia, and Arsi Negelle district represents areas with recent plantation expansion in the Rift Valley area of Ethiopia. This study assessed trends in eucalypt planting over the last five decades, identified the determinants, and examined perceptions of local stakeholders towards this expansion in the district. Quantitative data were gathered through a household survey and farm level inventory. About 90% of the respondents had planted eucalypts, and 52% of them were engaged in planting since the late 1990s. About 11% converted cropland to eucalypt woodlots, which is also a growing trend in the area. Proximity to Arsi-Forest Enterprise (P < 0.01) and area of land holding (P < 0.01) positively and significantly affected both decision to plant and land area allocated to eucalypts plantings. Active labour in the family negatively and significantly (P < 0.05) affected planting decisions, while education level of the household head positively and significantly (P < 0.05) affected land area allocated to eucalypts plantings. Despite strong policy discouragement and perceived adverse ecological effects by the farmers themselves, 96% of them and 90% of the district experts support the expansion. Eucalyptus has become the most desired and planted tree genus, and economics not ecology appears to drive its expansion. Unless better alternative sources of cash income and substitutes for energy and construction materials are found, its expansion is likely to continue even at the expense of cropland. It is concluded that research is needed to fine-tune current eucalypt farm forestry practices to reduce the associated ecological externalities, rather than grossly banning eucalypt planting by smallholders.
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  • From self-subsistence farm production to khat:driving forces of change in Ethiopian agroforestry homegardens

    Elbakidze, Marine   Lidestav, Gun   Sandewall, Mats   Angelstam, Per   Kassa, Habtemariam  

    Traditional agroforestry homegardens deliver multiple products and benefits, including food security and livelihoods for rural households in Ethiopia. However, this land use has been changing towards monoculture production of khat (Catha edulis). This study analyses the development trajectories and causes of change in agroforestry homegardens. In total, 84 interviews, including key informant and semi-structured household interviews, and eight focus group discussions were conducted in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Regional State. It was found that khat production was increasing regardless of household wealth status. The proximate causes included better financial income for households, smaller sizes of farms due to farm land redistribution, favourable market conditions for khat, access to irrigation, decrease in governmental subsidies to buy fertilizer and quality seeds for food crop production, a positive experience of other farmers in khat production, and minimizing risks of theft and wildlife damage. Khat production challenges the implementation of national policies towards eradication of poverty and hunger.
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  • Characterizing and evaluating the impacts of national land restoration initiatives on ecosystem services in Ethiopia

    Tamene, Lulseged   Tibebe, Degefie   Adimassu, Zenebe   Kassa, Habtemariam   Hailu, Habtamu   Mekonnen, Kindu   Desta, Gizaw   Sommer, Rolf   Verchot, Louis  

    Land restoration is considered to be the remedy for 21st century global challenges of land degradation. As a result, various land restoration and conservation efforts are underway at different scales. Ethiopia is one of the countries with huge investments in land restoration. Tremendous land management practices have been implemented across the country since the 1970s. However, the spatial distribution of the interventions has not been documented, and there is no systematic, quantitative evidence on whether land restoration efforts have achieved the restoration of desired ecosystem services. Therefore, we carried out a meta-analysis of peer-reviewed scientific literature related to land restoration efforts and their impacts in Ethiopia. Results show that most of the large-scale projects have been implemented in the highlands, specifically in Tigray and Amhara regions covering about 24 agroecological zones, and land restoration impact studies are mostly focused in the highlands but restricted in about 11 agroecological zones. The highest mean effect on agricultural productivity is obtained from the combination of bunds and biological interventions followed by conservation agriculture practices with 170% and 18% increases, respectively. However, bunds alone, biological intervention alone, and terracing (fanya juu) reveal negative effects on productivity. The mean effect of all land restoration interventions on soil organic carbon is positive, the highest effect being from "bunds + biological" (139%) followed by exclosure (90%). Reduced soil erosion and runoff are the dominant impacts of all interventions. The results can be used to improve existing guidelines to better match land restoration options with specific desired ecosystem functions and services. Although the focus of this study was on the evaluation of the impacts of land restoration efforts on selected ecosystem services, impacts on livelihood and national socioeconomy have not been examined. Thus, strengthening socioeconomic studies at national scale to assess the sustainability of land restoration initiatives is an essential next step.
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  • Characterization of smallholder mixed crop-livestock systems in integration with spatial information:In case Ethiopia

    Amejo, Asrat Guja   Gebere, Yoseph Mekasha   Kassa, Habtemariam   Tana, Tomado  

    The mixed crop-livestock systems are acknowledged as sustainable due to its complementarity and synergy, contribution to welfare, food security, income, and poverty alleviation. The lack of efforts in the long-term impact for increased and more efficient food production, however, threatens the livelihoods and food security of smallholder producers. This paper provides a description on smallholder crop-livestock systems in the dominant system unit of crop and livestock production discretely subdividing in different agroecological zones (AEZs) into land-use land-cover class for considering factors influencing socioeconomic and agricultural intensification. A linear mixed-effects model was carried out to fit the relationship between the land-cover measurement and the corresponding farm enterprise in land use. The repeated measurements of linear predictors that fit in full and reduced model analysis were conducted in the system framework. The landscape slope (%), elevation (m) and market distance (minute) analysis were used in spatial adjustment in the specific system. The overall area of land-use system of the peasant holdings was 599.86 ha. The area covered by annual crops was 56%, which was higher (p < 0.01) compared to the area covered by natural pasturelands (17%), perennial crops (15%), vegetable (1%) and the tree or grass cover (2%). Distinct six farming systems were characterized, each being significantly different from other. The difference within a similar AEZ could probably be a result of a minor level of farm systems manipulation. The major difference associated could essentially be with a difference in agroecology and spatial variability of the farm households.
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  • Building future scenarios and uncovering persisting challenges of participatory forest management in Chilimo Forest, Central Ethiopia

    Kassa, Habtemariam   Campbell, Bruce   Sandewall, Mats   Kebede, Mammo   Tesfaye, Yemiru   Dessie, Gessesse   Seifu, Abebe   Tadesse, Menfese   Garedew, Efrem   Sandewall, Kajsa  

    We examined the changes in forest status and people's livelihoods through building future scenarios for Chilimo Forest in Central Ethiopia where participatory forest management (PFM) is being implemented. Participatory methods were employed to collect data, and a dynamic modeling technique was applied to explore trends over time. By integrating the more quantitative model outputs with qualitative insights, information on forests and livelihoods was summarized and returned to users, both to inform them and get feedback. A scenario of open access without PFM provides higher income benefits in the short term but not over the longer term, as compared to a scenario with PFM. Follow up meetings were organized with national decision makers to explore the possibility of new provisions in the national forest proclamation related to joint community-state ownership of forests. Project implementers must constantly work towards improving short term incentives from PFM, as these may be insufficient to garner Support for PFM. Other necessary elements for PFM to succeed include: ensuring active participation of the communities in the process: and, clarifying and harmonizing the rules and regulations at different levels. (C) 2008 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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  • Genecological zones and selection criteria for natural forest populations for conservation:the case of Boswellia papyrifera in Ethiopia

    Derero, Abayneh   Worku, Adefires   Kassa, Habtemariam  

    Rapid changes in land-use in the Combretum-Terminalia woodlands of northwestern Ethiopia are mainly due to the increases in commercial farming and immigration. We used integrated ecological and social data collection techniques, including subdivision of the vegetation zone, vegetation survey, focus group discussions and key informant interviews, to identify genecological zones and set criteria for selection of viable populations of Boswellia papyrifera (Del.) Hochst in Ethiopia for conservation. Interviews of senior experts were supported with a rating method and involved 43 respondents and focused on identifying and weighting criteria and indicators of selection in a participatory way to prioritize populations for conservation. Using mean annual rainfall data, we reclassified the Combretum-Terminalia woodland vegetation region into three moisture zones (wet, moist and dry), and designated them as genecological zones for B. papyrifera conservation. A total of 35 woody species were identified at Lemlem Terara site in Metema district, and the Shannon diversity index and evenness were 2.01 and of 0.62, respectively. There were 405 adult trees, and 10 saplings and 3314 seedlings per ha. The trees were medium-sized with overall mean diameter at breast height (dbh) of 16.9 (+/- 9.5) cm. Seedling recruitment was poor due to grazing, crop production and fire incidences. Through a multi-criteria decision analysis, five criteria and 20 quantitative indicators were identified and weighted to prioritize populations for conservation. These criteria in their descending order of importance are (1) forest ecosystem health and vitality, (2) forest cover and population structure of B. papyrifera, (3) productive function of the forest, (4) biological diversity in the forest, and (5) socioeconomic benefits of the forest to communities. Multivariate tests in the general linear model revealed significant differences among researchers and nonresearchers in rating the criteria and indicators, but not among foresters and nonforesters. Hence, participatory multi-criteria decision analysis should involve people from various institutions to rectify decisions on conservation of the species. Careful evaluation of the investment policy environment and engaging those government bodies that are responsible to allocate the dry forests for commercial farming is recommended before the proposed criteria are applied to select populations for conservation, thus ensuring subsequent use of the outcomes of such exercises and better reconciling conservation and agricultural production increment goals.
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