Four years on, wild coffee project in Ethiopia making headway

Lion in jungle

Lion in the mountain cloud forest, Source: Bruno D' Amicis

NABU - The Nature and Biodiversity Conservation Union has drawn a positive assessment of a project to protect the biodiverse mountain cloud forests. The project was launched four years ago in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve in Ethiopia. "The wild coffee project is a model for success in global efforts to mitigate climate change and protect tropical rain forests," emphasised NABU President Olaf Tschimpke during an event in Berlin where the project results were presented.

Deforestation of tropical forests is one of the main sources of climate-damaging greenhouse gas emissions. A few decades ago about 40 per cent of Ethiopia was covered by natural forests, but now only 2.7 per cent of these areas remain. NABU initiated several measures to combat deforestation in the Kafa Biosphere Reserve, including providing wood-saving stoves to the local population, implementing extensive reforestation measures and cultivating community plantations with fast-growing tree species. The project is funded by the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU) through the International Climate Initiative (IKI) with a total volume of EUR 3,190,000.

The Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia attended the event in Berlin, where Dr Elsa Nickel, responsible for the nature conservation section at BMU, explained: "The crux of this project was both to protect the biologically diverse mountain cloud forests in the Kafa region and to support sustainable development and help build local capacity and knowledge. I am pleased to announce here today that the Federal Environment Ministry is planning a follow-up project to protect the mountain cloud forests in Kafa in the framework of IKI."