Sodo Reforestation Project
The pilot phase of this long-term project (35 years) aimed at restoring and protecting some 503 hectares of native forests and selected non-indigenous species on Mount Damota (Southern Ethiopia) through a combination of tree planting and natural regeneration. Decades of overexploitation of mountain forest resources had exposed the steep hills to severe soil erosion and droughts, whilst impacting on local wildlife. The initiative was developed between the Soddo community and World Vision Ethiopia, with support from World Vision Australia. The project aims to maintain and increase native flora and fauna, improve the soil to reduce the risk of floods and erosion as well as increasing yields. Important further aims are environmental rehabilitation for carbon sequestration and support to ecosystem regeneration. The forest area is owned by five Soddo communities that have secured land rights certificates from the national government. One very positive component of the project was the application of the Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR) a fast, low-cost methodology that enables vegetation regrowth from existing tree stumps and root stock. Implementation of the pilot led to the establishment of some 700,000 seedlings and regeneration of 450,000 trees in the project area. Further, endorsement by the national government of local ownership of carbon rights has supported project validation under three carbon-trading standards (Climate, Community and Biodiversity; Carbon Fix; Gold Standard for Transition Projects). Thus, communities are now able to sell carbon credits from agroforestry, reforestation and afforestation over the term of the project, which should ensure the long-term regeneration of the Mount Damot project area through offsets of an estimated sequestration of 189,026 metric tons of carbon dioxide. The Soddo Reforestation Project is seen as an outstanding example of community-based management of natural resources. The benefits include not only forest regeneration and conservation, but also the creation and diversification of income opportunities, enhanced health and food security, and capacity building, along with the creation of five cooperatives to manage the forest and user rights within the project area (Gurmu, Kokate, Kunasa, Waja, and Wogene).
World Vision Ethiopia/World Vision Australia (USD 600 000 for the pilot period: 2006-2012)