Ethiopia: Grand Campaign for National Parks Rehabilitation

Abijatta-Shalla National Park

Although there are promising results in wildlife conservation, the number of wild lives is decreasing from time to time following the low concern given for national parks.  

By Zelalem Girma (The Ethiopian Herald)

ADDIS ABABA–Saving wildlife is the responsibility of all stakeholders, and requires grand campaign to maintain the country’s irreplaceable treasure as well as to sustain the well-being of the national resources, according to the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority.

Authority Director-General Kumera Waqijira said that the national parks located in various states of the country such as Abijatta-Shalla National Park, Babile Elephant Sanctuary and Awash National Park are threatened by man-made disasters, and later leads to  danger of extinction.

The devastation occurred prior to 20 years ago between 1988 and 1998 could not be revitalized such national parks out of extermination, he added. 

The Director-General said they will not keep their momentum unless the parks get prime concern from pertinent stakeholders and various sectors in the economy. The ever increasing number of human population and the poor implementation of government policies and strategies are causing environmental degradation throughout the country and an accelerated rate of habitat loss.

The Director-General also noted that the Semien Mountains National Park was previously registered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization as one of the endangered parks. Thus, the government has made relentless effort to rehabilitate and preserve its natural beauty .That could be counted as practical and exemplary achievement for others.

Although there are promising results in wildlife conservation, the number of wild lives is decreasing from time to time following the low concern given for such national parks.

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According to Kumera, for sustainable preservation of the national parks, the authority has set in motion an integrated wildlife conservation plan this fiscal year.

The country urgently needs solutions to conserve its national parks and other ecosystem services, while striving to ensure sustainable livelihoods and reducing the vulnerability of resource-dependent communities.

The development of new partnerships between government and community must be strengthened to address wildlife conservation problems. Communities are seen as key partners for conservation and have crucial roles in wildlife management activities. 

As national parks are significant for the development of tourism, communities can reap the benefits of their natural resources over and over. Both government and non-government conservation actors should involve themselves in developing tourism and ensuring revenue flows to local communities as well as for national economic growth.

It was learned that the country has over 25 national parks administered by the federal and  state governments. The authority has been also engaged in the establishment of additional three national parks .

Source: The Ethiopian Herald
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