The role of Indigenous Knowledge in Land Management for Carbon Sequestration and Ecological Services in Southern Ethiopia

Abebe Shiferaw, Hans Hurni, Gete Zeleke


The significance of Indigenous Knowledge [IK] systems in management of sustainable ecosystems has long been recognized. This study reflects the role of IK in sustaining ecosystem services and contributing to carbon sequestration among the Wolayta people in Damot-Sore District, Southern Ethiopia.

The study applied an ethno-ecological approach using key informants, group discussions, village-dialogues and validation methods. Expert rating of land management practices and comparison of land suitability classifications systems was also used. Although past development has overlooked IK, this study reflects the significance and wealth of IK as exhibited in the diversity of practices, terminology, and land suitability classification system. Among the nine land management practices observed, indigenous agro-forestry has the highest potential in contributing to carbon sequestration, mitigating climate change and sustaining soil ecosystem services. Croplands have the most diverse and widely used indigenous land management practices compared with forests and grass lands. The study recommends further quantitative valuation and integration of appropriate practices in development intervention.

Key words: Ecological services, Ethiopia, Indigenous Knowledge, Land management, Soil carbon.

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ISSN (Paper)2222-1700 ISSN (Online)2222-2855

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