MELCA – Ethiopia forest re-generation and re-planting

MELCA is a forest re-generation and re-planting project in Ethiopia. The program is pioneering ways of enhancing traditional ecological knowledge and protecting fragile forest and watershed ecosystems through community participation and empowerment.

Melca aim to recuperate 5212 hectares of the Menagesha Suba State Forest – the oldest ‘protected area’ in Africa. This provides habitat for a vibrant wildlife comprising more than 30 different species of mammal, over 180 different species of bird and many plant varieties.

Restore Our Planet have funded the planting of up to 600,000 saplings on over 300 ha of degraded land over five years with funding provided for the protection of a further 600ha of degraded dry Afro-montane forest in order to regenerate over a million more trees and re-establish areas of the forest for the benefit of local biodiversity and the marginalised local communities.

The vital services provided by the re-established forest include the rehabilitation of local natural water resources and the stabilisation of the soil, preventing processes of desertification as well as providing habitat vital for the survival of the rare and endemic local wildlife including the Menilik bushbuk.

Regeneration and Reforestation of the Godere Forest

This project is a beneficiary of the Gaia/African Biodiversity Network Micro-Projects Fund.

The Godere forest is in Gambella National Regional State, Ethiopia. It is unique in plant composition and wildlife diversity and provides many vital ecosystem services for the surrounding area. The local community also depends on it for hunting and gathering purposes such as the harvesting of wild honey. However it is facing heavy deforestation due to agricultural expansion, illegal timber felling for construction and firewood and a general lack of commitment from local administration to protect the forest from outside forces.

To prevent further degradation of the forest, community-based legal research needs to be organised covering advocacy strategies and activities. The latter will include building the commitment of the local administration to protect the forest; establishing the foundations for sustainable land use; preventing land expansion for agriculture; re-strengthening traditional/local ways of protecting the forests;restricting access to certain areas to assist regeneration; community tree-planting.

Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme

The Ethiopian wolf is endemic to the highlands of Ethiopia, where it persists in a handful of Afroalpine mountain ranges. This project is located in the Bale and Arsi Mountains, South Ethiopia and Menz, Wollo. Mt Guna and Simien, North Ethiopia.Monitoring and research activity estimates no more than 500 adult wolves remaining.

The project is a long term endeavour which has amongst its objectives, the monitoring of all populations of wolves so that evidence based management interventions can be implemented where appropriate; community and school education regarding the importance and value of natural resources; supporting community development in the area and working with partner organisations to deliver capacity- building and ensure adequate wolf habitat remains in perpetuity.

The prevention of rabies and canine distemper in the largest population in Bale is also a core objective. Restore Our Planet has supported this Programme due to the habitat/community qualities and its long term focus on one of the worlds `lower profile` species.