MELCA-Ethiopia has opened a new project site in Nono sele woreda of Ilu Aba Bora zone in Oromia Regional State, Southwestern part of Ethiopia. The project is operational as of July 2018.
The overall objective of this project is to contribute to enhancing natural resource governance in the woreda through promotion of agro-ecological measures for the improvement of community livelihood. The project is planned to be implemented in a period of one year beginning from June 2018.
The project has been officially launched on a project launching and awareness-raising workshop organized on the 3rd of August 2018 at Nono sele administration office in Birbirsa town. Representatives of key stakeholders at zonal and woreda levels have participated on this workshop.
The workshop was officially opened by the speech of Ato Debele Teka, Vice administrator of Nono Sele woreda. In his speech, Ato Debele mentioned that Nono Sele woreda is one of the woredas in Ilu Aba Bor zone endowed with biodiversity resources and these resources have been conserved through culture of the communities for conservation of nature. He also mentioned that the coming of MELCA to the woreda will strengthen both the traditional governance already in place and the weak enforcement of environmental laws and policies. Mentioning that the woreda is lucky to have MELCA to support the conservation and development endeavors being undertaken in the woreda, he stressed that administration of the woreda is ready to avail any support required of it. The vice administrator also promised on behalf of the woreda administration to provide office space for the staff recruited by MELCA to coordinate the project activities and facilitate collaboration with woreda partner offices.
As per the proposed plan the project launching was effectively implemented by participation of all key stakeholders at woreda level and Zonal government sector offices. During the launching session, project objectives and key activities planned to be implemented as well as the expected outcomes were introduced. The roles of stakeholders at woreda and zonal levels as well as that of higher education and research institutions and that of the community were also discussed during this session. Objective of the workshop and its implementation modalities were highly appreciated and supported by the participants. As such, participants of the workshop expressed their commitment, on behalf of their respective offices, to support implementation of the project activities.
Then a presentation on the natural resource, demographic and socio-economic background of Nono sele woreda as well as the challenges relating to NR conservation were presented by Kidane Gebito, representative of Nono sele woreda EFCCA. IN his presentation, Kidane also discussed the traditional governance systems and conventional approaches being applied for conservation of NR in the woreda.
Following this, a presentation focusing on natural resources and related management systems in Ilu Aba Bor zone was made by Ato Fikru Mosisa, a lecturer and researcher at Metu University. In his presentation, Ato Fikru discussed the root causes of deforestation and NR degradation in Ilu Aba Bor zone, conflicts and their causes as well as development projects planned to be undertaken by government in the zone and the impacts they may cause.
A discussion session was held after the three presentations. During this session, participants reflected on the different development and conservation activities that may positively Impact on the lives and livelihoods of communities in the woreda and their hopes for a better future. Participants also stressed the role of Metu University to improve the life of communities in the woreda.
Finally, a short presentation on law enforcement for better conservation of biodiversity was made by Ato Mersha Yilma, from MELCA-Ethiopia. The role of proper enforcement of regional, national and international laws and policies for conservation of NR in the woreda, the concepts and principles underlying conservation of biodiversity and ecosystems as well as the various approaches to environmental governance were briefly discussed during this session.