Local Stakeholders-Based Interventions for Sustainable Conservation and Restoration of the Endangered Boswellia papyrifera and its Degraded Habitats in Ethiopia

Tesfay Gidey Bezabeh


Other projects

28 Mar 2017

Prioritizing the Factors Affecting Conservation of the Endangered Boswellia papyrifera Tree Species, and Developing its Community-Based Solutions in Ethiopia

5 Sep 2018

Empowering Community to Introduce Area Enclosure for Enhancing Natural Regeneration of the Endangered Boswellia Papyrifera and its Degraded Habitat in Ethiopia

The endangered Boswellia papyrifera tree provides substantial economic and ecological benefits in Ethiopia. However, it is now heavily threatened by over-exploitation and habitat degradation. As a result, it was listed as endangered species by TRAFFIC and was recently suggested to be considered for a vulnerable category in the IUCN (Bongers et al., 2019). Based on our previous RSGs recommendations and discussion with the local stakeholders, this booster grant will then introduce four interlinked interventions for sustainable conservation of the species and its degraded habitats in northern Ethiopia: I) capacity building; II) livelihood improvement; III) habitat restoration; and IV) link and disseminate results. Our capacity building intervention will focus to continuously improve awareness of the local stakeholders on conservation of the species through training and education. Our livelihood intervention will also improve livelihoods of the local community through alternative livelihood sources such as poultry and beekeeping farming. Furthermore, we will establish habitat restoration interventions (e.g. soil and water conservation structures) in degraded habitats of the species for assisting its restoration process (e.g. natural regeneration; saplings growth). Our fourth intervention will also be focusing on linking results (interventions) of the project with our partners for their sustainable managements; and disseminate them through different workshops and media (printed and e-sources).

Over-tapping of the aerial roots of the endangered Boswellia papyrifera for frankincense resin production, northern Ethiopia.

Over-tapping of the aerial roots of the endangered Boswellia papyrifera for frankincense resin production, northern Ethiopia.

Background of the project

The endangered Boswellia papyrifera tree species provides substantial economic (frankincense resin production) and ecological benefits in East Africa, including Ethiopia, Sudan and Eritrea. However, it is now heavily threatened by over-exploitation and habitat degradation. As a result, it was listed as endangered species by TRAFFIC and was recently suggested to be considered for a vulnerable (VU) category in the IUCN Red List (Bongers et al., 2019). Our RSGs were then initiated to support its conservation in Ethiopia. Based on our 1st and 2nd RSGs recommendations (Tesfay et al., 2020) and discussion with the local stakeholders, this booster grant in combination with our already secured some co-funds (e.g. from University of Adigrat, Ethiopia - http://www.adu.edu.et) will then introduce four interlinked interventions for sustainable conservation of the species and its degraded habitats in northern Ethiopia: I) capacity building; II) livelihood improvement; III) habitat restoration; and IV) link and disseminate results of the project. More specifically, the project will have the following specific objectives:

1. Provide capacity building training for the local stakeholders on use of proper tapping techniques for collection of frankincense resin from the species, and on establishment of different habitat restoration techniques for restoration of degraded habitats of the species

2. Improve livelihoods of the local woman through alternative livelihood sources like poultry and beekeeping farming

3. Establish habitat restoration techniques (e.g. soil and water conservation (SWC) structures) in degraded habitats of the species for assisting its restoration process

4. Develop a comprehensive manual of the project for sustainable conservation of the species; and handover it to the local stakeholders for their immediate uses

5. Share results of the project with relevant stakeholders through workshops to raise their awareness on conservation of the species

6. Link results of the project (interventions) with our well-established partners for their sustainable managements

7. Disseminate results of the project through different printed and e-sources media to raise awareness locally, nationally and globally on conservation of the species

Methods to be used

As continuation of our previous RSGs projects, this project will be conducted at Abergelle district, Tigray region, northern Ethiopia where the endangered B. papyrifera is found under high risk of extinction due to over-exploitation and habitat degradation (Tesfay et al., 2020). For sustainable conservation of the species, introduction of different interlinked interventions through this project will then be very crucial. For achieving objectives of the project mentioned above, different methods will be used. Before starting the project, we will hold a meeting with the local stakeholders (local community, rangers, local experts and NGOs) of the Abergelle district to discuss on its importance and to receive their feedback. The local stakeholders will then be given a chance to select their four representatives to join the project team members. Jointly with the representatives, we will select 25 key informants (gender inclusive) from the local stakeholders for capacity building training of the project. We will then provide intensive practical training for the key informants on tapping techniques of the species for frankincense resin production and on habitat restoration techniques such as how to establish SWC structures in degraded habitats of the species for improving its restoration process. In consultation with the representatives, we will also select 30 local women, whose livelihoods highly dependent on resin collection from the species. We will then practically train the local women on the alternative livelihoods sources like poultry and beekeeping farming for improving their livelihoods. We will also provide them start-up inputs (chickens and beehives) and continuous technical support to start properly their farming activities. Furthermore, we will establish SWC structures (stone bunds) in 20ha degraded habitats of the species for improving its restoration (e.g. natural regeneration, saplings growth). Collated data related to the introduced interventions will then be scientifically analysed for developing a comprehensive manual for sustainable conservation of the species. The manual will be given for the local stakeholders as to use it for sustainable conservation of the species. It will also be shared with relevant stakeholders through workshops. Besides, we will link results of the project (e.g. our established SWC structures) with our well-established partners for their sustainable managements. Additionally, we will disseminate results of the project through printed and e-sources to raise awareness locally, nationally and globally on conservation of the species.

Expected outputs

1. Will improve capacity and skills of the local stakeholders on proper tapping of the species for frankincense production; and on establishment of different habitat restoration techniques for restoration of degraded habitats of the species

2. Will improve and diversify livelihoods of the local women through production of new products from their poultry and beekeeping farming

activities thereby reducing over-exploitation of the species for frankincense production

3. Degraded habitats of the species will be restored by our SWC interventions, and these will help to improve the species restoration by maximizing soil conditions (e.g. moisture and nutrients) and minimizing soil disturbances like erosion

4. Develop a comprehensive manual of the project for supporting sustainable conservation of the species by the local stakeholders

5. Increase number of local, national and international partners to link with our project. This is important for sustaining the project interventions, and to increase involvement of different partners on conservation of the species

6. Will raise awareness locally, nationally and globally on conservation of the species through our results dissemination strategies (e.g. workshops, printed and e-sources media)

Project Updates

1 Jun 2021

Social media video featuring the project.

Why Frankincense And Myrrh Are So Expensive | So Expensive

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