Sustainable Management of the Munessa Forest
An Ecosystem Approach for Sustainable Management of the Munessa Forest in Ethiopia
Ethiopia is a prominent example of deforestation and degradation of forests in the subhumid and semiarid tropics. At present, natural high forests cover only 2.3% of the country. A large proportion of the Ethiopian population depends on the remaining forest resources for energy, construction materials and a number of other non-timber products. Attempts to combat deforestation mainly focused on the planting of exotic tree species. So far there is no forest management plan in Ethiopia based on scientific information on site conditions.
Realizing sustainable management of the remaining forests of Ethiopia must take the manifold ecosystem functions and the multitude of users into consideration, the Munessa Forest Project was initiated with the financial support of the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG) at the beginning of 2001. The project broadly aims at understanding the key ecological processes and the interactions of the local people living in and around the forest in a multidicsplinary approach. The final outcome of the project is expected to be a simplified manual on sustainable management of Ethiopian forests.