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1 February 2005 The Role of Communities in Closed Area Management in Ethiopia
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Much of the Earth is degraded, is being degraded, or is at risk of degradation. Dry Afromontane forests in Ethiopia are one of the ecosystems affected by this phenomenon. This study focuses on assessment of community perceptions of experiences with, and benefits from, enclosure practices meant to prevent or mitigate land degradation. Communities around Biyo-Kelala and Tiya enclosure areas, in central and northern Ethiopia respectively, were used for the study. The assessment was carried out on the basis of a semi-structured questionnaire survey and focus group discussions. Results showed that an overwhelming majority of the people have a positive attitude about enclosures and feel that they have gained benefits. However, people prefer not to ensure private ownership, but favor maintaining the existing communal (village level) management system instead. This demonstrates that groups emerge to manage common property when they live close to the resource. Yet the issue of benefits and their equitable distribution among community members was found to be the basis for developing a sense of security for ownership and hence the success of enclosures. The other finding was that rehabilitation of deforested lands provides economic benefits by supplying raw material to meet the local demand for wood, reducing the pressure on the remaining forests and supplying various non-timber products. Nevertheless, it is not possible to design a national model for the management of this practice: the design of management rules is specific to a particular locality.

Mengistu Tefera, Teketay Demel, Håkan Hultén, and Yonas Yemshaw "The Role of Communities in Closed Area Management in Ethiopia," Mountain Research and Development 25(1), 44-50, (1 February 2005).[0044:TROCIC]2.0.CO;2
Accepted: 1 September 2004; Published: 1 February 2005

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