History of Establishment:
The founders of MELCA are environmental practitioners and lawyers. They have extensive experience, both nationally and regionally, on issues related to environment and culture.
MELCA arose out of their concern for the confusion that the public has on matters concerning traditional ecological knowledge. They are deeply worried about the current erosion and destruction of both biodiversity and culture. They sincerely feel that wholesale adoption of western thinking and action is not a solution to Ethiopia.
They believe profoundly that there are lots and lots of positive experiences in our culture which could be used to address the current ecological and social crisis that we have. The founders were airing their worry through national and international forums and are now convinced that it is by organizing themselves as a group that they can address their concerns in a focused and meaningful way.
MELCA means ford both in Amharic and Oromo language – two of the widely spoken languages of Ethiopia. It means a crossing point on a river, which is symbolically used to indicate the need to take people away from their misconceptions about local people and culture to an understanding and appreciation of traditional ecological knowledge. A river also signifies linkage with a source. If the source dries, the river also dries. MELCA emphasizes that culture is the source of identity and wisdom and that the destruction or degradation of culture will result in lose of a vast amount of knowledge and identity.
To see healthy and prosperous people that preserves their bio-cultural diversity
To work for healthy ecosystems, resilient communities and critical young generation through developing and institutionalizing innovative approaches and experiences
To increase the adaptive capacity to social and ecological shocks of communities and contribute to the creation of a healthy ecosystem and resilient community.