Introduction - the challenge
Coffee has its genetic hearth in the south west highlands of Ethiopia. This is where Arabica coffee originated and was first domesticated. The forests with this globally important wild coffee genetic resource are under threat from deforestation and enhancement planting of high yielding coffee varieties.
Government resources were and are limited and the traditional approach to in situ conservation, based on a protectionist approach (zonation and control of the activities of the local communities), does not have a good record. In particular, excluding communities from forests to “protect” the genetic resources has often had negative results.
Pounding roasted coffee beans ready for brewing coffee.
The project works in SNNPRS in Bench Maji Zone and Sheka Zones in four woredas (Sheko, North Bench, Yeki and Guraferda) with 55 Forest Management Groups operating at the got (village) level, who live in and around three important forest areas, Kontir Berhan and Amora Gedel in Sheko, and Guraferda forest in Guraferda.
Woredas of Wild Coffee Conservation by Participatory Forest Management Project 2015