The results of a baseline study conducted by MELCA in 2005 on the situation and threats to Sheka Forest provide a framework for MELCA’s work to save the forest and bring about policy change on issues concerning environmental and community rights, and a focused and coordinated advocacy. Thus, five research works which focused Land use/Land cover changes, the impact of land use/ land covers changes on biodiversity, the impact of cultural changes on the people of Sheka and their traditional resource management practices, legal and institutional analysis for sustainable use of forest resources, and economic value of natural forest in sheka Zone have been sponsored by MELCA.
In relation to the advocacy work, MELCA coordinated a workshop to develop an advocacy strategy for Sheka Forest, which was attended by different NGO representatives and researchers. MELCA also became founding member of the Sheka Forest Alliance (SheFA), along with nine national NGO’s who joined the Sheka Forest alliance. Moreover, awareness raising workshops on environmental and cultural rights organized for different level cabinet members. MELCA also provided a workshop and training for local people from Sheka on human and environmental rights. In addition to these activities MELCA undertook training workshop on eco mapping for different stakeholders as well as training for eco-advocates with the purpose of strengthening their work.