Conservation of natural coffee forest in Ethiopia 

In Ethiopia, Afromontane rainforest can be predominantly found in the Southwest of the country. There is high pressure on this forest type, however, as the area is increasingly dominated by settlements and coffee and tea plantations. The area has been declared part of the “Eastern Afromontane biodiversity hotspot” due to its rich fauna and flora, with many species endemic to the region. BINCO works in two forests here: Belete-Gera forest (2014-2015), near Jimma, is a national forest priority area, whereas Sheka forest (2015-2016), near Tepi, is part of a Unesco Biosphere reserve.

With our expeditions, we aim to gain basic information on the diversity, occurrence and distribution of several taxa. Currently, we are looking at birds, mammals, amphibians, reptiles and different invertebrate groups. Besides inventory and surveying, we aim to identify specific areas of high biodiversity value and gain information on acute threats to it. Up to now, biodiversity information has mainly been limited to plant surveys for both areas.

Besides biodiversity research, we also aim to increase local knowledge by training and capacity building. We organize meetings together with our local partners and help identifying the ecotourism potential of the region. In the long-term we aim to emphasize the importance of this forest on a global scale and increase the protection these forests are receiving on a local scale.

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