The value of indigenous tree species in Ethiopia
In the Chencha region of southern Ethiopia, erosion continues to be a pressing concern for the Gamo people, one of the main indigenous tribes of Ethiopia. The Gamo people live in the highland area and primarily practice mixed agriculture and weaving.
Abraham Adamu, 24, is a skilled weaver in the Chencha region. His father taught him how to weave and secured all of the necessary equipment for him to begin his own business. Today, Abraham has been weaving for four years, and the profits he has generated have gone toward supporting his young son.
Recently, Abraham's son asked if his father could cut down an older Koso tree to make him a bed. The community does not allow trees to be cut until they have reached maturity. When they do get cut down, they must always be replaced. Passing this rule down to his son, Abraham told him that he could only cut down the tree if he planted ten Koso trees first and ensure they had all taken root. Today, his son has planted seven Koso trees.
Warkensh Solbe, a beneficiary of the Indigenous Tree Species Restoration, Local Climate Change Adaptation and Indigenous Livelihood Enhancement Project, plants Anka trees within her farm and Koso trees around her home.
The project has given her a greater understanding of the value of the trees in fertilizing the soil and increasing crop yields. Before the project, she noticed how bare the land was. Now, she understands why the cropping seasons were changing and underground water sources were diminishing. Planting these indigenous tree species have shown her the importance of taking care of the environment.
The agroforestry project has greatly contributed to increasing the quantity of their harvest. The climate change training by the Initiative Living Community Action (ILCA) provided the farmers with more knowledge and information about the value of trees in mitigating many of the climate change effects their community faces.