Skip to main content

Über dieses Buch

This book, with contributions from leading academics - and including reviews and case studies from Ethiopian Church forests - provides a valuable reference for advanced students and researchers interested in forest and other natural resource management, ecology and ecosystem services as well as restoration options.

The book addresses various aspects including a general overview of Ethiopian church forests, the present role and future challenges of church forests. It also discusses their structure and diversity in the context of sustainability and discusses restoration options for surrounding landscapes, under consideration of the circumstances of the land and the needs of surrounding communities.

The intended readership includes natural resource professionals in general as well as forestry professionals in particular (practitioners, policymakers, educators and researchers). The book will provide the reader with a good foundation for understanding Ethiopian forest resources and restoration options of degraded landscape.



Chapter 1. Ethiopian Church Forests and Restoration Options—An Introduction

The Ethiopian church forests are now considered as an effective socio-ecological system, which contributes to the conservation of biodiversity. They provide habitat as critical sanctuaries for many endangered and endemic plant as well as invertebrate taxa. They are also considered as blueprints and seed repositories for native species to assist restoration of degraded landscapes in the country. This introductory chapter, written by the editors, provides an overview of background information and an insight into the different chapters of the book entitled “State of the Art in Ethiopian Church Forests and Restoration Options”.
Mengistie Kindu, Thomas Schneider, Alemayehu Wassie, Mulugeta Lemenih, Demel Teketay, Thomas Knoke

General Overview of Ethiopian Church Forests


Chapter 2. Understanding Land Use/Land Cover Dynamics in and Surrounding the Ethiopian Church Forests

A better understanding of the causes and consequences of complex changes of land use/land cover (LULC) in a given landscape call for global attention for scientific research. This chapter reviews the state-of-the-art of scientific knowledge on LULC dynamics within and in the surrounding areas of Ethiopian Church Forests (ECFs). We conducted the review using systematically selected articles on LULC changes associated with ECFs, with additional literature to contextualize the broad scope of our understanding of the changes. Our review highlights approaches used for change studies, overall LULC changes and underling reasons/drivers of changes. Our study demonstrated that remote sensing and ground inventory based approaches are essential tools for change detection within as well as in the surrounding areas of ECFs. We revealed a mix of forest cover changes within and the ECFs. For increasing trends in forest area, the existence of stone walls, exclosures, intense rehabilitation, and protection activities were mentioned as major drivers. Conversion to croplands, population pressure, livestock grazing, government policies, isolation, and small sizes were the most common drivers for declining trends of forest areas. Further research challenges, and opportunities within and surrounding the ECFs are outlined.
Mengistie Kindu, Degefie Tibebe, Demeke Nigussie, Thomas Schneider, Martin Döllerer, Demel Teketay, Thomas Knoke

Chapter 3. Land Use Land Cover Changes and Forest Fragmentation on the Surrounding of Selected Church Forests in Ethiopia

Church forest (CF) is the most important biodiversity hotspot in Ethiopia. Land use land cover change (LULCC) is among the threats of CF. However, little is known about the quantitative trends of LULCC and forest fragmentation around CF. The aim of this study was to analyze LULCC and forest fragmentation of four selected CF and their surrounding (within 3 km buffer). The selected churches were: 1. Kedest Arsema Monastery (KAM) from Tigray region, 2. Woji Abune Aregawi Church (WAA) from Amhara region, 3. Abune Tekele Hayimanot Monastery of Bole Bulbula (AT-B) from Addis Ababa 4. Abune Tekele Haymanot Monastery of Wolayta (AT-W) from Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regional State (SNNPRS). Satellite images of Landsat TM (1984/86/87, 1995&1999) and OLI_TIRS (2017/18) were used. After preprocessing activities conducted, the images were classified using pixel-based supervised classification technique. By using the classified LULC maps, the landscape metrics of fragmented patches was calculated. We found that farmland and forest/shrub land are the most dominant LULC classes of the study areas. Reduction of forestland was recorded within the boundary of AT-W (from 28.2 to 17.6%), WAA (from 2.4 to 1.4%) and AT-B (from 7.1 to 3.5%) between 1986/87 and 2017. Forest area increased from 7.3 to 26.8% inside the boundary of KAM between 1986 and 2018, while shrub land decreased from 92.7 to 73.2% during the same period. The study areas except KAM shows a decreasing trend of forest cover and shrub land inside their boundary over the study periods. Forest fragmentations and attrition of natural vegetation were also observed from WAA, AT-B, and AT-W along the study periods. Thus, effective conservation activities are urgent in and around CF to conserve the biological resources of CF.
Nesibu Yahya, Getachew Kebede, Melaku Getachew, Abeje Eshete

Chapter 4. Sacred Texts and Environmental Ethics: Lessons in Sustainability from Ethiopia

This chapter examines the cultural importance of Ethiopian church forests with respect to environmental ethics and eco-theology, both within Tewahedo tradition for restoration projects in Ethiopia and for the potential to inform and enrich Christian traditions throughout the developed and developing world. Sustainability solutions are largely dependent on local acceptance for successful implementation, a dynamic shaped by culture and religion: Sensitivity to local traditions can be crucial for project success. This essay presents specific recommendations for improving project success by identifying how the sacred forests of Ethiopia are protected by Tewahedo theology, and how this cultural protection can be increased or lost in the eyes of the people. One factor is the protective presence of wandering monastics in these forests; restoration project managers can help ensure that these forests will continue to be safeguarded by providing the forest species and other protections needed for their subsistence lifeways. Another factor is the level of cultural memory among the people regarding the religious significance of these forests. Accordingly, this essay brings forward the ancient and sacred Tewahedo text, Śənä Fəṭrät ( ). Here we find a theocentric cosmology that uniquely empowers humankind to protect the natural world. This textual tradition is reflected in the present-day practice of encompassing churches and monasteries with Edenic forests that serve as habitat for many threatened and endangered endemic species. It is a religious narrative that can further restoration efforts throughout Ethiopia by recovering cultural memory and investing it with deep historical context and theological meaning.
David K. Goodin

Present Role and Future Challenges of Ethiopian Church Forests


Chapter 5. Soil Carbon Stocks and Dynamics of Church Forests in Northern Ethiopian

Rising atmospheric CO2 concentration is a major cause of climate change. Release of soil carbon is one of the major causes. In the Northern part of Ethiopia, church forests are major stocks of above- and below-ground carbon. However, the significance of church forest ecosystem in soil carbon storage is not well documented. Three church forests along a climatic gradient were selected to examine soil carbon storage of church forest in comparison with adjacent land use systems (eucalyptus plantation, grazing land and cropland). Inputs from above- and below-ground biomass were quantified. Litter trap and in-growth core methods were used. Results showed that conversion of church forest to cropland or grazing land reduced SOC stocks by 58–69% in <50 years. Restoring the area through reforestation with eucalyptus species led to an increase in SOC; however, the rate of increase (ca. 0.3 kg m−2 year−1) was lower than losses (ca. 0.4 kg m−2 year−1). The annual carbon input through litterfall is nearly the same as below-ground input in the church forest. On the other hand, the above-ground inputs in eucalyptus, cropland, and grazing land were absent/minor due to litter raking, complete crop residue harvest, and overgrazing. The annual fine root production in the church forest was 723 g m−2 whereas in grazing land and cropland it was in the range of 50–60 g m−2 illustrating a reduction of carbon input into the soil by >90% if church forests are converted to these land uses. This calls for urgent attention to restore essential ecosystem functions and soil carbon sequestration.
Dessie Assefa, Abrham Abiyu, Boris Rewald, Hans Sandén, Douglas Godbold

Chapter 6. Estimation and Mapping of Asabot Monastery Dry Afromontane Forest Carbon Stock Under Diverse Land-Use Scenarios

Even though the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church is acknowledged in the preservation patches of forest in the highlands, the church's role in conserving the Dry Afromontane ecosystem is not well documented. This study estimate and map carbon stock under three future land-use scenarios for sustainable management in the Asebot Dry Afromontane forest of Ethiopia. The study quantifies land use land cover (LULC), developed future land-use scenarios, and estimated carbon stock at the plot level. Three simulated LULC scenarios, such as Business As Usual (BAU), forest disturbance, and optimistic conservation, were developed for 2047. The LULC trends indicate that the forest and grassland cover decreased; meanwhile, the woodland and shrubland increases. In an optimistic conservation scenario, the forest, woodland, and shrubland cover would increases by 50% from the current coverage. Whereas, in a forest disturbance scenario, the woody vegetation covers would decrease. The average total carbon stock estimated from the field data ranges from 129 to 355.6 tons/ha. Because of the changes in LULC, the carbon stock amount decreased from 1986 to 2017 and will continue in the BAU scenario. In a forest disturbance scenario, the carbon stock would be decreased by 12.7% from 2017, while in an optimistic conservation scenario increases by 12.4%. The study shows that the Dry Afromontane forest, such as Asebot Monastery, has a positive role in climate change mitigation under optimistic conservation. Therefore, proper forest management is essential for enhancing ecosystem services in Dry Afromontane forests and contributing to the restoration of the downstream’s degraded landscape.
Tulu Tolla, Teshome Soromessa, Richard P. Dick, Seyoum Leta, Mekuria Argaw, Gudina Legessa, Mesfin Sahle, Merga Belina, Eyasu Elias, Zewdu Eshetu

Chapter 7. Aboveground and Belowground Carbon Pools for Some Selected Native and Introduced Tree Species of Abune Teklehayimanot Church Forest, Welayita Sodo, Southern Ethiopia

Quantifying the amount of carbon pools in church forest ecosystems enables us to understand about the role of church forest for climate change mitigation and adaptation. Therefore, this study was conducted with the goal of estimate the amount of carbon stored for some commonly grown planted trees in the Abune Teklehyimanot Church, Welayita Sodo, Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regional State, Welayita town, Ethiopia. In 2018, a total of 23 temporarily sample plots with an area of 110 to 578 m2 each were established, laid out on transects along altitudinal gradients with a distance of 100 m between plots. All trees with diameter at breast height (DBH) ≥ 2 cm were identified and height (m) was measured using diamater tape, calliper and vertex (digital height measurement instrument). Aboveground and belowground biomass was calculated using Chave et al. (Global Change Biology 3177–3190, 2014) and IPCC (National Greenhouse Gas Inventories Program, IGES, Japan, 2006), respectively, and converted into carbon density using the default factor. Data analysis made using descriptive statistics. The aboveground biomass of the natural forest ranged from 241.41 ± 5.50 t ha−1 for Eucalyptus camaldulensis to 1.60 ± 0.00 for Jacaranda mimosifolia at Teknik na Muya mender forest 24 patch. The belowground biomass ranged from 27.23 ± 0.62 t ha−1 for Eucalyptus camaldulensis at Teknik na Muya mender forest patch to 0.01 ± 0.00 t ha−1 for Juniperus procera. The mean ecosystem carbon stock density of the sampled plots in the planted forest ranged from 140.70 ± 3.21 t C to 0.06 ± 0.005 ha−1 for Eucalyptus camaldulensis and Juniperus procera, respectively. In conclusion, fast growing introduced tree species accumulated more carbon stock than native tree species in the studied period of time. There was variation in carbon pools among a species and forest patches. We recommend forest carbon-related awareness creation for local people and promotion of the local knowledge as a possible option for sustainable forest management. This forest needs management intervention including enrichment planting of economically important native tree species and fencing to avoid free grazing by livestock. Better attention of development practitioners, policy makers and church communities may help to improve the woody species composition of this forest and conservation role of Ethiopian Orthodox church.
Mehari Alebachew, Abeje Eshete, Mindaye Teshome

Structure and Diversity of Ethiopian Church Forests


Chapter 8. Floristic Composition, Diversity, Population Structure and Regeneration Status of Woody Species in Four Church Forests in Ethiopia

The Ethiopian orthodox churches play a pivotal role in conserving and protecting forest resources and they harbour diverse flora and fauna. Despite this fact, there is scant knowledge on the floristic composition, diversity and regeneration status of woody plants in most of the church forests in Ethiopia. Therefore, the objectives of this study were to: (1) evaluate the species composition, structure and diversity of woody plants in the Bole Bulbula Tekle Haymanot Church Forest (BBTH) in Addis Ababa, the Mantogera Estifanos Church Forest (ME) in Amhara National Regional State (NRS), the Emba Kidist Arsema Church Forest (EKA) in Tigray NRS and the Wolayta Debere Menekerat Abune Tekele Haymanot Church Forest (WDM) in Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples (SNNP) NRS and (2) assess the regeneration status of woody plants in the aforementioned four church forests. To achieve those objectives, the vegetation data were collected using a nested quadrat plot design, measuring 20 × 20 m. Depending on the proportion of the area coverage of each church forest, a total of 30, 15, 17 and 15 sample plots were taken to collect the vegetation data in BBTHM, ME, EKA and WDM church forests, respectively. Shannon–Wiener diversity index was used for the diversity analysis and densities of trees and seedlings were determined. The results revealed that the number of woody species recorded in ME (38) > BBTH (32) > EKA (18) > WDM (16). The diversity of woody species in the church forests of BBTH, ME, EKA and WDM were 1.25, 2.15, 1.8 and 0.52, respectively. The densities (stems ha−1) of woody species in BBTH, ME, EKA and WDM were 4300, 716, 235 and 533, respectively. The number of seedlings in EKA was higher than in the other studied church forests. Depending on their geographical locations, the results generally indicated that the studied church forests harboured a variety of species, which are important for genetic conservation and development purposes in Ethiopia. Hence, appropriate attention must be given to conserve and develop these church forests in the country. All of the studied church forests exhibited poor natural regeneration. Therefore, it is recommended to apply appropriate silvicultural treatments and management practices, such as weeding, hoeing and loosening the ground under the forest canopy, removing the thick litters that covers the ground under the forests, thinning, pruning, enrichment plantations and controlling livestock movements to enhance the regeneration of native woody species in the studied church forests.
Shiferaw Alem, Nesru Hassen, Mindaye Teshome, Kibruyesfa Sisay, Zelalem Teshager, Nesibu Yahya, Abeje Eshete

Chapter 9. Diversity, Regeneration Status, and Socio-Economic Importance of Tara Gedam, Abebaye and Fach Forests, South Gondar, Northwestern Ethiopia

The study was conducted in Tara Gedam, Abebaye, and Fach forests to investigate the floristic composition, diversity, population structure, regeneration status and socio-economic importance of the forests, and the anthropogenic factors affecting them. A total of 64 plots (21 from Tara Gedam, 9 from Abebaye, 34 from Fach), measuring 20 m × 20 m (400 m2) each and established along line transects approximately at 100 m intervals, were used to collect vegetation data. A general survey consisting of field observations, key-informant interviews, and Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) was carried out to collect socio-economic data. A total of 263 vascular plant species belonging to 198 genera and 79 families were identified from the study areas. The diversity and evenness of woody species in Tara Gedam (TG), Abebaye (AB), and Fach (FC) forests were 2.98 and 0.65 (TG), 1.31 and 0.31 (AB), and 3.53 and 0.72 (FC), respectively. Woody species having low Importance Value Index (IVI) values, such as Rhus retinorrhea and Ficus sycomorus, and those exhibiting poor regeneration status (as indicated by their Diameter at Breast Height [DBH] class distributions), such as Acacia abyssinica and Premna schimperi, need high priority for conservation. The local communities were dependent on the forests for fuelwood, construction material, charcoal, timber, farm implements, food, medicines, fodder, and bee forage. At present, however, the forests are being destroyed due to livestock grazing/browsing, tree cutting for various purposes, farmland expansion, human settlements, urbanization, and fire incidences. Therefore, effective conservation and management interventions are urgently needed to ensure the long-term maintenance of the forest ecosystems, and benefit the local communities through sustainable utilization of the forests. 
Haileab Zegeye

Chapter 10. Woody Vegetation Composition and Structure of Church Forests in Southeast of Lake Tana, Northwest Ethiopia

Understanding woody plant species composition and structure is fundamental to design and optimize the needed conservation measures for Ethiopian church forests. The aim of this study was to describe the composition, structure, and regeneration status of woody species in church forests in southeast of Lake Tana, Ethiopia. Data were collected from twenty-four church forests. Four plots (20 m × 20 m) were established in each church forest. Plots were located in four cardinal directions (north, east, west, and south) at different distances from the forest center. Four subplots (5 m × 5 m) were established in each plot to assess seedlings and canopy cover. In each plot, all woody plants were identified and counted, and diameter at breast height (DBH) was measured. Species and family importance values were computed to characterize the species composition. Additionally, population structural features were analyzed through the variation of tree size classes. Species richness (SR), Pilou evenness (Jʹ), and Shannon–Wiener index (Hʹ) were used to determine species diversity. A total of 115 woody species representing 53 families and 97 genera were found. Of these, 62% were trees, 36% shrubs, 1.89% climber, and 0.06% reed species. Species richness differed among forests, ranging between 16 and 38 species. Fabaceae, Sapotaceae, and Rubiaceae were the dominant families with a high family importance values of 41, 28, and 22, respectively. The church forests have relatively high indices of species diversity (SR = 26 ± 1.25), (Jʹ = 0.75 ± 0.02), and (Hʹ = 2.42 ± 0.07), indicating that they play a major role in the conservation of woody species. However, a relatively high densities of Eucalyptus spp. ranging from 13 to 1925 individuals ha−1 were recorded, and these exotic tree species, thus, form a potential threat to the conservation of native species. The diameter class distribution of some selected keystone and dominant species formed four main shape types, of which the irregular-shaped pattern was most predominant, which suggests missing cohorts and regeneration problems for most species. Higher densities of Eucalyptus plantations were recorded in more recently established than old church forests. Therefore, effective measures should be taken to address the major pressures, such as plantation of exotic species that negatively affect the species composition and vegetation structure of these church forests, which, in turn, affect their ecosystem functions and services.
Ferehiwot Mequanint, Alemayehu Wassie, Shimeles Aynalem, Enyew Adgo, Jan Nyssen, Amaury Frankl, Diederik Strubbe, Bart Muys, Luc Lens

Chapter 11. Woody Species Composition, Diversity, Structure and Uses of Selected Church Forests in Central Ethiopia

The objectives of this study were to investigate woody species diversity, species richness, and identify endangered plant species of three church forests. The churches were located across three agro-ecologies. Transect lines and plots were established for woody species inventory. All woody species with a diameter at breast height of ≥5 cm were considered. Species richness, α-diversity, β-diversity, and Sørensen similarity were calculated. Results revealed the presence of 34, 17, and 27 woody species in Assela Teklehymanot (Church in highland agroecology), Etisa Teklehymanot (Chuch in mid-lowland agroecology), and Saramba Kidanemhret (Church in the lowland agroecology), respectively. The importance value index (IVI) indicated native tree species Podocarpus falcatus (IV = 164.59), Croton macrostachyus (IV = 80.28), and the exotic Eucalyptus globulus (IV = 199.06) are important in church 1, church 2, and church 3, respectively. Moreover, 9 IUCN Red List of Threatened Species recorded in the study. The conservation and additional enrichment planting with the indigenous woody species found in the respective church forests and from similar other areas by performing species-site matching is recommended.
Eguale Tadesse Kifle, Asia Khamzina, Yowhan Son, Florent Noulèkoun, Abdu Abdelkadir, Wubalem Tadesse

Restoration Options to the Surrounding Landscapes of Ethiopian Church Forests


Chapter 12. Church Forests as Sources for Forest Reproductive Material of Native Species and Their Possible Role as Starting Points for the Restoration of Degraded Areas in Ethiopia

One of the major bottlenecks in restoration of degraded land areas worldwide is the lack of adequate numbers of high quality forest reproductive material, i.e., forest seeds and planting stocks. The objectives of our contribution are to give an overview of initiatives in forest landscape restoration with an emphasis in Ethiopia. We try to point out the possible purpose of Church forests as sources for reproductive material and to highlight the potential role of new church nurseries in high quality planting stock production. Native tree species should be an essential part of the ambitious projects in greening the country. Unfortunately, adequate amounts of native seedlings are not available. We can fall back on many years of experience from research projects in Ecuador, Egypt, Namibia, and other countries as well. We finish with recommendations for a conceptual framework on tree seed procurement and its implementation for the purpose of successful restoration of Ethiopian forests and end up with a plea for the country’s efforts on conservation of biodiversity and national culture, which may act as a regional revitalization and demonstration object for innovative environmental enhancement and job creation for the people.
Bernd Stimm, Mengistie Kindu, Thomas Knoke

Chapter 13. Ecological Status and Plan for Connectivity of Fragmented Forests as a Means of Degraded Land Restoration in South Gonder, Ethiopia

Lack of networks of connected habitat patches affects the biodiversity of the area. Hence, this study assesses the status of fragmentation of the land use of Libokememek District and propose a plan for the ecological connectivity/corridor. Data from 2015 Land Use and Land Cover (LULC) results, Digital Elevation Model (DEM), all area closures, and church forests were used for the study. To analyze the fragmentations status of the area different metrics was calculated using fragstat4 software in ArcGIS10.3. The result reveals agricultural lands and grasslands occupied more than 80% of the land use compared to the forest land (844 hectare). This result shows that forest land use is the most fragmented land use. The planned ecological connectivity has a total of 2305 hectare of land. To reduce fragmentation focal patches such as area closure and church forest; sub patches like slope greater than 30%, degraded lands, and river stream with a buffer of 30 m are used. This will result in 29% of land is covered with vegetation/forest. Finally, soil and water conservation work that promotes the participation of the community and other stakeholders has been recommended. Likewise, the churches have to be encouraged and incentivized to keep their trees/forest land.
Fikirte Demissie, Kumelachew Yeshitela, Mengistie Kindu

Chapter 14. Identifying Priority Areas for Conservation in Mojo River Watershed of Ethiopia Using GIS-Based Erosion Risk Evaluation

Identification of priority areas for the establishment of conservation measures is the first step in conservation planning. Resources may constrain launching of watershed management activities all over a watershed at the same time, hence methods to prioritize intervention are essential. Intensity of land degradation may be one of the key factors to consider in the process of prioritization. This study investigated prioritization of Micro-watersheds (MWs) using soil erosion risk and tested using Mojo River watershed as a case study area. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) and Multi-Criteria Evaluation (MCE) approaches were integrated in GIS environment using remotely sensed and other ancillary data. The analysis showed that RUSLE and MCE help to categorize landscape units into different levels of erosion risk and identify areas that require priority for conservation measures. Based on the RUSLE, MW-level average annual soil loss could be estimated, severity level assessed, and the area covered under various severity levels estimated to support planning. Based on the approach, MW-wise Composite Erosion Index (CEI) could be estimated. As a result, the critical MWs under very high and severe categories were recommended for immediate conservation intervention to reduce on-site and off-site soil loss effects.
Kiflu Gudeta, Mekuria Argaw, Mengistie Kindu

Chapter 15. Ethiopian Church Forests as Monitoring Towers in Reconstructing Climate Change and Its Impacts and to Make Evidence-Based Climate-Smart Restoration Efforts

Climate change has become one of the biggest threats to nature and society, due to extreme weather events including floods, droughts, and increased frequency and intensity of dry spells. This has been causing devastating impacts on agriculture and forestry, which are the main livelihood sources in Africa. However, there is insufficient scientific information on climate change, especially as it concerns related changes in growth patterns, water use efficiency, and stress-induced mortality of tree species. Furthermore, predictions of climate change in Africa are characterized by a high degree of uncertainty due to the limited availability of long-term and high-quality climate data. Dendrochronological data can be useful to better understand forest growth dynamics, tree-to-forest level responses to changing climate, and to reconstruct multi-century climate information and characterize extreme climate events beyond instrumental periods. Although Ethiopia has lost most of its natural forest cover, church forests provide a unique source of old-growth trees that can serve as monitoring towers in multiple ways. We addressed opportunities and challenges of dendroecological application and summarized results from different studies on Juniperus procera growing in church forests. We describe dendrochronological applications for studying current climate change effects, hydroclimatic reconstructions, forest ecological research, forest rehabilitation, and carbon management. Reviewed hydroclimate and dendroecological studies confirmed that church forests are valuable archives of regional hydroclimate information and important to understand the growth dynamic of old-growth Afromontane forests. This information is required to assist evidence-based climate-smart restoration efforts. Multiple tree-ring formation per year was reported, particularly in areas with ambiguous rainfall seasonality. However, such challenges can be resolved through proper site selection, the advancement of technologies, and using newly emerging methodologies.
Mulugeta Mokira, Aster Gebrekirstos, Abrham Abiyu, Kiros Hadgu, Niguse Hagazi, Achim Bräuning

Chapter 16. Rehabilitation Sites Prioritization on Base of Multisource Remote Sensing Time Series, Erosion Risk, and Woody Biomass Modeling

Identifying the right sites for rehabilitation is an important step for successful restoration programs. This study identified rehabilitation priority sites using multisource datasets covering six decades from 1958 to 2016 in the Tis Abay area, as example for the Ethiopian Highlands. Two sets of B&W aerial photographs (1958 and 1984) and two sets of satellite images (MOMS-02/D2 for 1993 and RapidEye for 2016) were the main input data from which eight land use/land cover (LULC) types were classified. Combination of three cases, such as analysis of LULC changes, erosion risk as well as woody biomass demand and supplies, was considered and employed in a GIS environment for the rehabilitation site prioritizations. The change results show that area covered with woody biomass providing LULC classes decreased by 28% in 60 years. On the contrary, the demand increased from 2316 t in 1958 to 21,280 t in 2016 or more than 900%. The erosion risk analysis shows that over 2000 ha (33%) of the area were exposed to an erosion risk of >256 t ha−1 yr−1. All in all, we found about 1000 ha (15%) of the study area as high to very high priority site for rehabilitation. We discussed options but limitations of concepts for landscape rehabilitations in response of global change, especially global warming, and a rapidly growing population.
Thomas Schneider, Mengistie Kindu, Martin Döllerer, Aleksandra Ivanova, Thomas Knoke

Chapter 17. Towards Ethiopian Church Forests and Restoration Options—Synthesis and Conclusions

The chapters in this book present a wide variety of evidence-based studies about the Ethiopian church forests and potential restoration options. These are pooled by the editors in this synthesis and concluding chapter of the book “State of the Art in Ethiopian Church Forests and Restoration Options”.
Mengistie Kindu, Thomas Schneider, Alemayehu Wassie, Mulugeta Lemenih, Demel Teketay, Thomas Knoke


Weitere Informationen