Integrated Watershed Management for Ecosystem Balance & Climate Change: Ethiopia

Merkineh Mesene Mena


Increasing weather variability and climate change are contributing to land and natural/env’tal resource degradation by exposing soils to extreme conditions and straining the capacity of existing land management practices to maintain resource quality. Integrated concepts for managing natural resources in a sustainable and environmentally sound manner show encouraging impacts, if applied on a large scale and over a long period. Integrated Watershed management (IWM) implies the judicious use of natural resources such as land, water, biodiversity and overall ecosystem to obtain optimum production with minimum disturbance to the environment. IWM concepts play an important role for local communities to adapt to impacts of climate change. The scaling up of IWM practices means increasing soil fertility and land productivity at the end leads to balanced ecosystem. Protected soil ecosystems with its organisms are very important for soil organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling under natural ecosystem. Thus soil fertility maintained and productivity increases. Policies and strategies can play a decisive role through IWM practices among which PASDEP is the most popular as it underlines awareness creation at individual land user and community level. Opportunities could be utilized for success of management practices such as recognition of the problems by the entire society, progressive new rural development policies, skilled man power, vast experience in IWM practices are notable.

Keywords: watershed management, environmental degradation, ecosystem balance, climate change

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ISSN (Paper)2224-5790 ISSN (Online)2225-0514

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