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Ethopia's coffee forests

December 11, 2012

Home to wildlife and coffee plants, Ethiopia’s cloud forests are under a preservation order. That has led to the local population learning to live off the forests in a more sustainable way.

Wild Coffee
Image: Svane Bender-Kaphengst / NABU

Bio-Diversity in Ethiopia - Saving the Last Wild Coffee Forests

Project goal: Preservation and sustainable farming of the last wild coffee forests
Project type: Reforestation, educating and training the local population
Project size: 760,000 hectares of forest land under conservation order
Project volume: ca. 3 million euros ($3.9 million) in the framework of the International Climate Initiative
CO2-balance: The wild coffee forests store 600,000 tons of CO2 annually

In 2010, after a long battle, the wild coffee forests of Ethiopia were put under a conservation order. Home to 5,000 different kinds of coffee plant, the UNESCO biosphere reservation is a truly unique treasure, boasting rich biodiversity. Work done in the region ranges from securing the forest, to harvesting coffee, to tourist sector jobs. In addition, several hundred hectares of forest are being replanted with both fast-growing and indigenous trees. Educating the local population about such things as the benefits of using wood-saving stoves is important. But even more important is coffee, which - given the growing worldwide interest in diverse bean types - is a good source of income. The local population is thus beginning to understand it is worth taking care of the forest instead of exploiting it.

A film by Jürgen Schneider