Experience sharing in landscape restoration research in Higher Learning Institutions (HLIs) in Ethiopia

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Land degradation is a serious problem with tremendous consequences on livelihoods and economic growth. Ethiopia is one of the counties affected by land degradation and its associated impacts. Integrated landscape restoration and sustainable land management practices are thus crucial to tackle the problem of land degradation. As a result, landscape restoration has become a component of nature-based solutions, in which universities, research centres, and development partners are engaged. Ethiopian public universities and other research and development organizations in the country are supporting landscape restoration activities to discharge their community engagement responsibilities and mandates. However, the land restoration practices among universities as well as other actors have not been coordinated with limited experience sharing. In addition, the landscape restoration efforts in the country have not been recognized by the public and development organizations, private sector, and donors. There is thus a need to create a forum/platform to share experiences and lessons related to landscape restoration in the country. A first step of this engagement starts with universities who have contributed to the research and development endeavours associated with landscape restoration.

Against the above background, the Alliance of Bioversity International and the International Centre for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) (Alliance hereafter) in collaboration with the Accelerating the Impacts of CGIAR Climate Research in Africa (AICCRA) Ethiopia project organized a two day workshop on experience sharing of landscape restoration among higher learning institutions (HLIs).The workshop was held between December 11 and 12, 2023, in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The workshop brought together more than 45 scholars from the Alliance and 16 public universities across the country including Gondar, Debre-Tabor, Bahir-Dar, Debre-Markos, Injjibara, Wollo, Debre-Berhan, Mekdela-Amba, Mekelle, Ambo, Wachemo, Werabe, Hawassa, Jimma, Haramaya and Wolayita Sodo.

The workshop was facilitated by Dr. Zenebe Adimassu and Prof. Berhanu Belay, independent consultants based in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The main objectives of the workshop were to (i) share experiences on landscape restoration among the HLIs and Alliance, (ii) develop partnership and networking for cross learning and experience sharing, (iii) pave the way for the development of knowledge management systems to support national landscape restoration initiatives, (iv) establish platform/community of practice on landscape restoration in Ethiopia.

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