Review on Contribution of Community-Based Participatory Watershed Management Practice for Sustainable Land Management in Ethiopia

Gemechu Fufa Arfasa


Ethiopia has a history of watershed management initiatives dating back to the 1970s. The basic approach has shifted from top-down infrastructure solutions to community-based approaches. Degradation of watersheds in recent decades has brought the long-term reduction of the quantity and quality of land and water resources. Community-based watershed management is an approach to water-resource protection, restoration and development that enables individuals, groups, and institutions with a stake in management outcomes (often called stakeholders) to participate in identifying and addressing local issues that affect or are affected by watershed functions. Sustainable land management is a knowledge-based procedure that helps integrate land, water, biodiversity, and environmental management (including input and output externalities) to meet rising food and fiber demands while sustaining ecosystem services and livelihoods. The most common form of land degradation in Ethiopia is soil erosion, and mainly this erosion processes are due to inappropriate land use, poor land management practices on steep slopes, fragile soils, increased pressure on both arable and grazing land, and the traditional farming systems of the people. Moreover, as the Ethiopian government is committed to fasten the overall development of the country, integrating SLM and other natural resource management and development activities in a program (rather than project approach) and complementary base is essential. Currently SLM project is running in 83 districts, which are a subset of a much larger plan of MoA (Ministry of Agriculture) to support sustainable land management activities in 177 priority watersheds across the country and its effectiveness varies from region to region.  Especially regions in semi-arid areas, with frequent drought and lower agricultural productivity and loss of biodiversity, have got promising response in the past. The community based watershed management practices in Ethiopia contribute great role in the implementation of sustainable land management and natural resource management.

Keywords: Community Watershed Management, Food and Agriculture Organization, Sustainable Land Management

DOI: 10.7176/JRDM/55-03

Publication date:May 31st 2019

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