Project information

Sustainable Forest Livelihoods Project

Ethiopia’s forests are home to poor communities who traditionally rely on cutting down trees for firewood and charcoal, which can be sold to earn a living. We have 84% of the funding we need to help them use resources such as honey & coffee to earn money, and protect the forest for the future.

January 2010 - December 2014

Charity information


FARM-Africa logo
  • Need


    Ethiopia's forests are at alarming risk, with deforestation twice the African average at 141,000 hectares per annum. Forests are being depleted for charcoal, fuel wood and construction, or converted into agricultural land. Not only does this affect biodiversity, but forests are also vital for water catchment with millions reliant on the network of rivers they feed. Forests are rich in renewable resources such as coffee but communities lack funds to invest in processing or links to markets.


    FARM-Africa is working with communities to conserve forest resources by building sustainable livelihoods and turning traditional activities into income-generating enterprises. Our technical experts provide training and support in developing non-timber forest enterprises such as coffee, honey, spices, bamboo furniture making and eco-tourism. Alongside this FARM-Africa trains communities and supports government extension staff to take ownership and responsibility for long-term forest conservation.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    Improve livelihoods by establishing non-timber forest enterprises in seven forest areas of Ethiopia


    » Support 150 communities to assess forest-based livelihoods, potential products, value addition opportunities, market demand and links
    » Establish at least 84 enterprises (at least 1 per Forest Enterprise Group) and provide training on production processes and business skills

    Success will be at least 75% of livelihood enterprises effectively functioning by end of 2014 and at least 3 new value chains (e.g. coffee, honey, ecotourism) econo

    Aim 2

    Contribute to the long-term conservation of 270,000 hectares of forest in four regions of Ethiopia


    » Establish 84 Forest Management Groups which effectively promote community inclusion and equity in decision making
    » Support the development and implementation of 84 Participatory Forest Management Plans that secure access and user rights for communities
    » Train communities in agro-forestry, such as planting trees on field borders, to sustainably integrate forestry and agriculture
    » Explore and adopt sustainable funding mechanisms such as REDD (UN's Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation)

    Success will be 60% of target communities organised into Forest Management Groups, and 270,000 hectares of forest under community management plans

    Aim 3

    Support the scale up of Participatory Forest Management by national and regional governments


    » Develop national guidelines for Participatory Forest Management that clearly support community access and user rights
    » Engage Ethiopian academic and research institutions in the promotion of Participatory Forest Management
    » Document and disseminate lessons learnt and best practices as widely as possible

    Success will be government adoption of Participatory Forest Management policies and increased resources allocated to forestry across Ethiopia

  • Impact


    There will be a significant reduction in deforestation and encroachment in the 7 target forests and communities will move out of poverty through viable non-timber forest enterprises.

    The changes will be demonstrated and verified through satellite imaging of forest cover, field level verification, and land use samples. Household surveys will assess income improvements from forest enterprises. Governement scale up of the approach and adoption of policies will also be a demonstration of success


    The major risk to the project is drought leading to a reduction in food security thereby increasing pressure on forest resources from non-participants. In this situation FARM-Africa would use our expertise in drought cycle management and early warning to assist communities.

    A second risk is a lack of economic incentive to make forest protection worthwhile, but we are confident there is high demand for products e.g. honey and coffee and have extensive experience in forest enterprises


    We will discuss and agree reporting schedules with donors to fit their requirements. We can provide quarterly updates, and more extensive reports on a six monthly basis, together with case studies and photos.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £2,767,882

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      Amount Heading Description
      £249,505 Forest enterprises Training of Forest Enterprise Groups in business skills, marketing, production and value addition
      £470,990 Forest conservation & M&E Training 84 Forest Management Groups in conservation, Monitoring & Evaluation
      £214,561 Studies and scale out Incorporating Participatory Forest Management into government policies
      £1,163,608 Staff & Technical Expertise Technical expertise in 4 regions to train communities in forest enterprise and conservation
      £483,143 Equipment, office/travel costs Forest mapping & camping equipment, 5 vehicles, 14 motorbikes, computers & office running costs
      £186,075 Admin Addis office support on management, finance & logistics

    Current Funding / Pledges

    Source Amount
    European Union £2,214,306 Guaranteed
    IIED £30,000 Guaranteed
    Anonymous trust £5,000 Guaranteed
    Anonymous trust £5,346 Guaranteed
    Anonymous trust £25,000 Guaranteed
  • Background


    The project is working in 7 forest areas across 4 regions of Ethiopia - Amhara, Beni Shangul Gumuz, Oromiya and Southern Nation and Nationalities and People's Region. The sites were selected in consultation with regional government partners based on assessment of high levels of poverty and forest resource depletion. The sites cover a range of forest types including afro-montane, bamboo, and humid upland broadleaved, with high potential for forest products such as coffee, honey and spices


    The project will target 149 kebeles (communities) sited in and around the 7 forests and aims to benefit a total of 200,000 people, with a further 3 million benefitting from water catchment preservation. The project will particularly target marginalised groups such as the Menja in Southern Nations and Guji in Oromiya. Women, young people, those at risk from HIV/AIDS and the illiterate will be particularly targeted for direct participation in project activities.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    FARM-Africa has significant experience in participatory forest management. With our support, many people living in and around the Bale Mountain forests of Ethiopia have successfully turned traditional activities into income-generating enterprises, and have taken responsibility for conserving their forest habitat now and for the future. With our expertise and support, many more forests, and the communities living around them could see the same benefits.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Tsegaye Tadesse

    Tsegaye is our Project Co-ordinator and forestry expert! He trained in Ethiopia and Sweden and has had great results on our other forestry projects

Our forestry work in action


will help improve lives in poor forest communities

We want to ensure we can save the forest for the next generation, but if people don't find something to live on they will break the rules and encroach

Mr Tekaligne Melese