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Livelihood Diversification as a Strategy for Economic and Environmental Sustainability in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia Joseph K. Assan, PHD Sustainable.

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Presentation on theme: "Livelihood Diversification as a Strategy for Economic and Environmental Sustainability in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia Joseph K. Assan, PHD Sustainable."— Presentation transcript:

1 Livelihood Diversification as a Strategy for Economic and Environmental Sustainability in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia Joseph K. Assan, PHD Sustainable International Development Programme Heller School for Social Policy and Management Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA Email: joeassan@brandeis.edujoeassan@brandeis.edu DSA, 2013

2 22 Co-author Fikirte Regassa Bayene, MA Horn of Africa Regional Environment Centre and Network (HoA- REC&N), Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

3 33 Introduction Poor rural households in Africa rely disproportionately on local environmental resources for their livelihoods and well-being A livelihood that guarantees access and entitlement to a range of reliable economic resources, assets (both tangible and intangible) and opportunities, is essential to achieving human wellbeing (Chambers, 1997).

4 44 Introduction The objective of the paper is to ascertain the effect of environmental conservation and development interventions on the livelihoods and economies or rural holds It specifically seeks to determine the contribution of the environmental conservation programmes to sustainable livelihoods and household economies of rural communities in the Amhara region of Ethiopia.

5 55 Livelihood and Economic Sustainability Kulindwa et al. (2006) highlighted that livelihoods should go beyond a particular level of income, paid labour or ability to meet household food security, opportunities for investment, business and economic stability. The integration of livelihood diversification into conservation approached has been considered an effective strategy in achieving this end

6 66 Linking Sustainable Livelihoods and conservation 1. Primary Environmental Care Approach 2. Market Based Policies Approach

7 77 1. Primary Environmental Care Approach This is a people-centred approach and argues that human activity is not necessarily or inherently detrimental to nature and if humans are given the opportunity, people will often manage their environment sustainably because it is in their best interest (UNRISD, 1994). Salafsky (2000) refers to this approach as economic substitution: - livelihood and conservation are indirectly linked - this approach enables local people to continue to meet their livelihood needs while protecting their environment

8 88 2. Market Based Policies Approach  Here, market-based policies are introduced with the intention of creating incentives for positive or neutral behaviours for the environment and creating disincentives for environmentally destructive behaviour (UNRISD, 1994).  The goal of this approach is balancing the trade-offs between human activities and achieving maximum economic efficiency and thereby ensuring sustainable development.

9 99 Environment and Poverty Reduction in Ethiopia  Ethiopia’s economy and social wellbeing, especially rural livelihoods, are exposed to the precarious effects of climatic variability and extreme weather conditions, mainly precipitated by several years of environmental degradation which is negatively impacting on household economies (MoWRMA, 2007).  Land degradation is an alarming challenge in the Amhara region  Erosion is the main cause of the loss of approximately 2 to 4 billion tones of top soil annually  leaving between 20,000 to 30,000 hectares of land unproductive (Taffa, 2009).

10 10 Environmental degradation in the Amhara Region of Ethiopia In spite of recent advances, poverty in the Amhara region is still high (7.3 million) next to Oromia (9.3 million) although the latter shares the largest population size compared with other regions (DPRD & MoFED, 2008). This significantly undermines agricultural livelihoods Causes of environmental degradation in Amhara - (Belay, 2010). - natural factors coupled with the effects of a long history of settlement - prevailing farming methods and increasing population pressure - which forces people to cultivate even steeper slopes have exacerbated the devastating land and resource degradation in the region

11 11 The Tree Gudifecha Project In an attempt to tackle environmental degradation and secure the livelihood of rural households in the Amhara region, an environmental conservation project called ‘Tree Gudifecha’ (adoption) has been implemented The ‘Tree Gudifecha’ project involved: 1.Tree plantations AND soil and water conservations activities (the construction of check dams, terraces, trenches, micro basins, water harvesting and spring developments). 2. Livelihood diversification activities (income generating activities, financial support, capacity development and training, input support, groups formation)

12 12 Project implementation  In 2007, the Integrated Rural Development Association (ADHENO) a local NGO sought to integrate livelihood/economic sustainability and conservation programmes as a development strategy in the Amhara Region  This was followed by the implementation of various soil and water conservation interventions and livelihood activities in the North Shoa Zone, Basona Worena Woreda (District) in 2005 and expanded into 12 village in 2007.

13 13 Field Strategy and Sampling Procedure  100 rural households located in Enchelele village (Metkoria Kabele) and Workegur Goshe Bado Kebele) village of Basona Worena Woreda in the Amhara region participated in the environmental conservation/ rehabilitation and livelihood enhancement intervention projects.  Our study sampled 50 households; 25 households from each village and targeted the adult members of the sampled household  Individual households served as the unit of analysis  Data collection was done through household interviews/ questionnaires

14 14 Project Implementation  The Global Environment Fund (GEF) funded the integrated project in Enchelele Village  the project in Workegur village was funded by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA)  the implementation was done in in partnership with Consortium of Christian Relief and Development Association (CCRDA), a local Non-Governmental Organization.

15 15 Key Findings of the Study

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18 Benefits  Home ownership: It was observed that the average number who owned their of homes within the sample increased although this is not statistically significant.  Transport access: the availability and access to transport through the use of donkeys also improved as more individuals were able to own a donkey after the project

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21 21 Livestock Production  There was high mortality rate for poultry, sheep and goat production due to poor management techniques and low skill levels of participants  This pattern was also due to the lack of veterinary services within close proximity of the sampled communities  “The lack of adequate personnel and medication is still the biggest challenge for the veterinary office, especially in times of epidemics. Many households had lost their animals and could not gain much benefit from their production. The Lack of proper management also causes the death of animals. For example the chicks we distributed are hybrids and needed more intensive level of care which is different from the local stock”. (District Agricultural Officer)

22 22 Livestock Production  ‘Ayeeee [expressing frustration], most of my sheep and hens had died and currently left with only two sheep out of ten. Because of their death, I lost significant income not to mention the wasted time and energy managing the activities’. (Alemitu, a female participants in Enchelele village)

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26 26 Conclusion  Rise in Household Income: There was a rise in household income after the project. This also introduced a rise in income disparities between households.  Increase in Household savings: The study observed a mean increase in the total household savings with an associated increase in the disparity between the two communities

27 Synthesis Survival rather than accumulation Risk prone Opens new Economic Pathways Income, savings and Market differentiation Within the community/District Non-uniformity of outcomes of diversification Wealth disparity Marginal and compulsive alternatives Thrives on social capital Poverty Reduction Requires empowerment of state actors Requires formal institutional support Demands budgetary frameworks Livelihood Sustainability


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