Stories

How Indigenous system help preserve ecosystem in Ethiopia's mountainous community

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Climate Change 16 Nov 2022

How the Indigenous system help preserve the ecosystem in Ethiopia's mountainous community (Story pitch)

Over the last 400 years, Ethiopia's indigenous mountain community in Menz Guassa, applied an indigenous natural resource management institution, known as “Qero,” system, to protect and reserve an area in central Ethiopia.

The Guassa Community Conservation Area (GCCA), is one of the oldest known common property resource management in Sub-Saharan Africa.

The Qero system is organized by two formally elected chiefs who oversee the beneficiary communities to ensure equitable resource distribution and enforce the bylaws protecting the common property resources. Based on traditional tenure patterns, rules of protection and utilization as well as enforcement are essential aspects of the Qero system.

As the local communities protect this reserve themselves mainly for its vast Festuca grassland, wildlife benefits directly from it. The Festuca (Guassa) grass is an important resource for people, which has been harvested for centuries sustainably in rotation schemes.

As such Indigenous people’s contributions are essential in designing and implementing solutions for ecosystems. Traditional knowledge and heritage is contributing to environmental assessments and sustainable ecosystem management.

The story will show how these indigenous systems are implemented and what significant impacts the Qero system brings about.

While pursuing the story, I'll visit the place and interview the community Menz Guassa, leaders, members of the community, Ethiopia wildlife authorities, and experts in the area as well.
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