Yedeni Forest Conservation Project
Located in the Bale eco-region in Ethiopia, which has approximately 500,000 ha of high forest, this REDD+ project is helping to reduce deforestation and develop more sustainable agricultural practices. The area is home to Africa’s largest alpine forest and an area of high biodiversity and significant ecological importance.
However, poverty levels among communities in the region are high which has driven the exploitation of the forest for firewood and agricultural expansion as locals have historically had open access to forest land. The consequences of this have been rapid deforestation and forest degradation.
This project implements a Participatory Forest Management framework which helps local users and government to manage the responsibility and benefits of the forest together. They gain economic incentives from the sale of carbon credits for avoiding deforestation.
Aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals
SDG 12: Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns
The project has helped to set up and stimulate markets for industries with more sustainable practices such as coffee growing, honey production (which specifically generates income for women), leather making and the livestock market.
SDG 13: Take urgent action to combat climate change
Over its planned life, this forest conservation project aims to avoid the emissions of 41,087,974 tCO₂. This is how based on historic levels of deforestation and is how much would be emitted without the intervention of this programme. This makes a significant contribution to reducing emissions that contribute to climate change.
SDG 15: Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems and halt biodiversity loss.
The project protects a unique and precious eco-system, which is not only important to the livelihoods of local people, but is also a natural water tower supplying life-sustaining water to other parts of Ethiopia and neighbouring countries. It is also the habitat of diverse and, in some cases, rare species.
- The project covers 333,924 hectares of forest and aims to reduce deforestation by 50% in the first 5 years and 70% over the project’s life (2012-2031).
- Between 2012 – 2015 a 62% reduction in deforestation was achieved.
- 12,496 hectares of forest have been saved – equivalent to 5.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions.
- Small forest-friendly businesses and cooperatives have been set up that provide an income stream for the local community and economic incentive to protect the forest.
- More efficient cookstoves and the promotion of practices to reduce the unsustainable harvest of firewood have also been implemented.
- The offsetting project assists locals to improve crop and livestock management practices, which is supporting the development of sustainable agriculture in the region.