The Oromia Forested Landscape Program has conducted a two days’ stakeholders’ Exposure visit. The delegation composed of representatives of key regional implementing sectors, heads of Environmental Protection Authority of eleven zones and OFLP staff has visited selected World Bank financed Afforestation/Reforestation and Participatory Forest Management sites in Buno Bedele and Elu Ababora zones.
Coordinator of the Oromia Forested Landscape Program Ato Taye Dugasa speaking at the onset of the event said the objective of the visit was to publicize key program accomplishment and expand typical lessons in the areas of Afforestation/Reforestation, Participatory Forest Management and livelihood activities carried out by the program in the two zones. He added the event also aims to discuss with members of community-based Organizations and the local community ways of further strengthening forest development activities in the selected areas and sustaining the so far outcomes.
During same event, four Afforestation/Reforestation and one participatory Forest Management sites were visited. Socho Mikael Afforestation/Reforestation site, located in Bedele wereda, was one of Afforestation/Reforestation sites visited by the delegation. Members of ‘Abdi Jireenya’ Forest Development cooperative’ have successfully reforested seven hectares of severely degraded land in the area. The cooperative was established in 2017 and now has 65 members. Moreover, it has received over 126,000 ETB as OFLP livelihood support which helped members engage in animal fattening. They have also started beekeeping activity by the support of local partners.
The delegation has discussed with members of the Cooperative and the local community, ways of further strengthening forest development activities in the area and ensuring sustainability of the outcomes on the ground. Chairman of the cooperative Ato Mitiku Regasa said he and members of his cooperative are so glad to see the area completely converted.
‘‘Few years ago, this area had been a dead plot as it had been harshly eroded for decades and finally reached the level where it could be used for nothing. As a result of continuous support from OFLP and members’ hard work, however, it has been drastically recovered and converted into forest. We are so glad for that.‘‘
He added that, he and all members of the cooperative are highly encouraged by the support they got from the program and that they would work hard to further strengthen the activities and scale up their income so as to enhance the livelihood of the members.
The event was winded up by a panel discussion organized in Metu Town of Elu Ababora zone. The panel mainly focused on ways of further advancing and sustaining the outcomes on the ground and elaborating lessons generated. Participants of the event hence, said they were so impressed with what they have observed and that they have captured so valuable lesson which they would apply at their respective localities.
The Oromia Forested Landscape Program envisages to Reduce Green House Gases Emission from the land sector through supporting community-based Afforestation/Reforestation and Participatory forest management among other strategic interventions.