Experts Urge Collaboration to Improve Wildlife Conservation in Ethiopia

Addis Ababa January 24/2019 Experts have urged for collaborative works to improve wildlife conservation and ease challenges in the sector.

Shared responsibility from the government, private sector and other stakeholder is necessary to preserve the country’s wildlife and parks, they said.

This was disclosed today at the half-day long national workshop on wildlife conservation in Ethiopia organized jointly by Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Think-Tank.

Several actors and experts in the wildlife sector, including from regional and international organizations partaken on the workshop, which among other things discussed on opportunities and challenges of the wildlife in Ethiopia.

Professor Masresha Fetene, from the Ethiopian Academy of Science, told journalists that despite its untapped natural resources, the country is facing some challenges in wildlife conservation.

He pointed out that illegal wild trafficking, fragmentation, lack of land use planning system, inadequate collaboration among stakeholders and human encroachment in wildlife reserves were among the challenges facing the country.

Preserving wildlife in parks is necessary for the country as it is essential to balance the biodiversity, and reduce climate change impacts, he noted.

Professor Masresha added that Ethiopian Academy of Science is exerting efforts by conducting researches and preparing workshops that can bring all actors together in conserving wildlife resources of the country.

He indicated that creating conducive environment for the private sector and increasing the level of collaboration has a great role to reduce the challenges.

Managing Director at the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Think-Tank, Dr. Mekbibe Tessema said the collaboration is needed not only to improve the wildlife but also to improve infrastructure development, livelihood of the people around parks.

He stated that developing mechanisms, policies and programs on wildlife conservation needs to be supplemented with practical expertise on the specific modalities for more sustained polices and strategies to be put in place.

Initiating proper land use system, support local community, establishing protected areas, creating landscape connectivity are also other options indicated by Dr. Mekbibe regarding wildlife conservation.

Documents on Ethiopian wildlife conservation indicated that the country has 21 national parks, 20 controlled hunting areas, 4 biosphere reserves, 80 national priority forest areas, 2 wildlife sanctuaries and many other commercial ranches, botanical gardens, community conservation areas.