Ethiopia Placeholder

Diversify livelihood options to reduce dependency on natural resources by supporting community initiatives towards improved livestock production and environmental protection

About the Implementing organization

Name: Dib-Bahir KA Animal Fattening, Production and Marketing Cooperative

Country: Ethiopia

Year of establishment: 2014

Type of organization: Community-based association or organization


Local communities are dependent on traditional farming and natural resources of SMNP for their subsistence. However, this traditional agriculture is incapable to produce annual family needs. This is because of productivity loss resulted from forest and land degradation and others.

Thus, it was a must to find some sort of solution to produce more or to diversify the income sources of the household otherwise life would be difficult without basic human needs especially food, water and life supporting ecosystem services. One of the solutions to overcome this critical production problem (especially crop production) is promoting improved livestock production technology at household level and for commercial purpose. Intensive animal fattening for commercial purpose was introduced to the area for the purpose of diversifying income sources of the local community and to reduce dependence on rain fed agriculture. In doing so biodiversity protection, rehabilitation and restoration will be given due attention in one hand and household income will be enhanced.

This solution can generate more income, it is friendly to the environment, create new job opportunities for women and youths, used as a demonstration site, can generate income at all time, reduce and avoid nature dependency, and it saves time and labor compared to labor consuming crop production. Therefore, this solution is best fit to the purpose both in generating income, diversifying income sources and conserving biodiversity.

Nature Element

Forests / Mountains / Wildlife

Type of Action

Protection / Restoration / Sustainable use

Sustainable Development Element

Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Climate action

Related Sustainable Development Goal(s)


Environmental Impacts

To reduce negative impact of the local community on natural resources of the national park, GEF SGP in collaboration with local stakeholders designs a possible solution. The association is established and supported to diversify income sources and then reduce dependency on the natural resources of the national park.

To achieve this goal more than 27 km of soil bund on 32 ha of land constructed, 4.5 km maintenance work undertaken and 30 ha of land in the national park protected for rehabilitation.

In addition to these two major achievements every year tree seedling plantation has been undertaken in the district with the objective of forestation to restore biodiversity. Generally with the effort of the local community and the initiative, biodiversity of the national park started to restore, forest cover improved, soil fertility improved and dependency on natural resources of the park highly reduced.

Sustainable Development Impacts

The initiative, alternative livelihood diversification scheme helps local community to reduce their dependency on natural resources and motivate to undertake conservation and rehabilitation works. Some of the accomplishments are soil and water conservation, tree seedling plantation, protection, gully rehabilitation etc. In doing so the environment started to rehabilitate and local community empowered towards sustainable forest management. Therefore, the implementation of the initiative can contribute for more than seven sustainable development goals. It can play a role in poverty reduction (SDG 1 No Poverty), able to reduce hunger and food insecurity (SDG 2 Zero hunger), helps to conserve the environment especially wildlife and natural forest (SDG 15 Life on Land), able to reduce the adverse effects of climate change (SDG 13 Climate Action). In addition to this, gender and income inequality will be balanced, and it will contribute to economic growth in general.


Most protected areas in Ethiopia are sources of life supporting ecosystem services and thus, they are not free of human induced problems. Poor and most vulnerable community members are highly dependent on the natural resources of these protected areas. Due to this, forest and natural resources degradation increased from time to time. Thus, it is advisable to promote environmentally friendly alternative income diversification schemes to reduce human dependency on natural resources. This initiative can be scaled up at national level because in Ethiopia livestock production can be the potential income sources and create job opportunities. The initiative requires small production area, comparable laboura and time; however, it is effective in generating high income than crop production. Therefore, the initiative easily scalable and can be promoted in all protected areas of Ethiopia to reduce the dependency rate of the local community who lives in and around protected areas.


Environmental degradation and associated adverse effects are all over the world. All these problems have been occurred due to human induced problems. Thus, if such an initiative can be replicated in many parts of the country it can help to protect the environment, able to rehabilitate highly degraded areas and most importantly it can reduce human dependency on the natural resources. This initiative can be implemented at household level or it can be for commercial purpose. It is environmentally friendly, able to generate considerable income and able to enhance livelihood options, which needs little investment cost and start up capital, little production area and inputs. On the other hand, most of less developing nations in Africa have high livestock potential, farming experiences though it is traditional and at small scale. Thus, if this initiative replicated to other nations people can be benefited and the environmental degradation will be tackled in many ways.

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