A review on kafa biosphere reserve: roles in meeting sustainable development of Ethiopia
Ali Yasin Mohammed
This paper reviews Ethiopian forest biodiversity and roles in ensuring the country sustainable development. It mainly consists of Kafa Biosphere Reserve with its socio-economic and cultural values, management practices, challenges and major threats. Within the highlands of South West Ethiopia, two main ecological zones can be distinguished, i.e. the highland forest and coffee forest zone. These forests provide important ecological services that maintain good hydrological conditions in the headwaters of major Ethiopian rivers and conserve biodiversity. In both zones, local communities have been traditionally dependent on the forests their livelihoods, using a range of resource mainly non-forest timber product for household consumption and income generation. While there are non-forest timber products with promising value on international markets, the region has good prospects for a combining forest conservation and poverty alleviation. Although the current national and regional legal and policy framework is to a certain extent favorable to several elements of the project approach such as community involvement in forest management, small enterprise development and development of community-based organizations such as forest management associations and production cooperatives as well as export promotion of honey and coffee, several inconsistencies in policy articulation and weakness in policy implementation form a serious bottleneck to the large-scale application of the integrated approach of participatory forest management and non-forest timber product development.