Agro-ecology is one of MELCA’s programs that focuses on Community Based Agro-biodiversity Management (CBAM).
This is an initiative intended to provide population, health and environment related services to local communities in an integrated manner. And the core objective of the initiative is to let the communities and service providers have an understanding of the interrelationship among these three social services and act accordingly.
To this effect, support of mini-media materials would be provided to schools so that students participating in SEGNI and Health (HIV/AIDS) clubs actively engage in awareness creation programs for their school and the community. Capacity building training on the integration of the components is also provided to health, agriculture and environment agents working at Kebele level. Religious leaders are also involved in spreading the initiative in the communities.
MELCA employs different approaches to work with the local community at the grass root level for conservation and rehabilitation of forest, mountain and agriculture bio-diversity of the country. In addition to that, with a view of having a holistic approach to mobilizing concerted effort to that effect it also organizes awareness raising and sensitization forums especially for government organs at different levels.
Conservation of existing forest biodiversity, its ecosystem and culture of the local community and rehabilitation of degraded environment is among the engagement areas of MELCA. Apparently vast of the country’s forest and corresponding amount of forest diversity has already been lost, especially with in the past 3-4 decades. Although the degree has some how lessened the loss is still persisting.
These days the major challenge to conservation of natural resources, especially the forest is the absence of alternative means of income for some members of the society who depend on the forest and its products for living. With the aim of minimizing this dependency MELCA employs entrepreneurship training for those groups of the society, women, youth and marginalized groups in particular, to help them have an alternative means of generating incomes for their living.
Participatory mapping refers to the act of facilitating ground for local community members to come together and put their indigenous spatial knowledge on a map in a way they can understand and use it as a spring board way to solve their social and economic problems. As such it mainly deals with Participatory Geographic Information System (PGIS) at the community level.
SEGNI in Oromiffa, one of the widely spoken languages in Ethiopia, means “seed”. Seed, for the agrarian rural community is a traditionally well-respected thing as it signifies continuity of generation. The acronym SEGNI, on the other hand is a program designed by MELCA to revitalize the transfer of traditional ecological knowledge and culture to the youth in schools.