Regreening the Tigray region, Ethiopia

Compendium Volume 2 Number 2 January 2019 r.1

More than 224,000 ha of drylands in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia that had previously succumbed to devastating cycles of drought and flood have been restored. As a result, the hillsides are green again, previously dry wells are recharged, and fruit trees now grow in the valleys. To remedy the problem of severe land degradation, locals throughout the region started in the 1990s to dig small pits and built terraces and bunds (small walls) to capture rainfall and keep it from running off slopes, while also planting millions of tree and bush seedlings. In addition, tree cutting and livestock grazing[6] were banned from degraded lands to allow natural regeneration of vegetation.

Regreening program to restore land across one sixth of Ethiopia: 

[6] Livestock grazing is known to cause land degradation as it did in this Ethiopia case, or regeneration, as demonstrated in the previous article on Zimbabwe. The different outcomes depend on how the grazing is managed. However, the problem of degradation from unmanaged livestock grazing is often better recognized than is the potential for adaptively managed grazing to be part of the solution.

For the full PDF version of the compendium issue where this article appears, visit Compendium Volume 2 Number 2 January 2019 r.1