Tolera, Motuma, Lemenih, Mulugeta, O'Hara, Peter and Wood, Adrian P. (2015) In-situ Conservation of wild forest coffee-Exploring the potential of participatory forest management in south west Ethiopia. In: WFC2015 – XIV World Forestry Congress, 7th - 11th September 2015, Durban, South Africa.

Maintaining the gene pool of Coffea arabica in the forests of South West Ethiopia, where this plant evolved and has its genetic hearth, is a challenge of global importance. Participatory Forest Management (PFM) and Biosphere Reserves (BR) are among the various initiatives being tested to maintain this forest and its biodiversity that includes major stands of wild Arabica coffee. This paper makes a comparative analysis of PFM and BR approaches to conservation as applied in Ethiopia. While BR legislation provides a framework for enforcement, there can be difficulties in achieving this on the ground especially with the pressures from communities on these forests and the limited resources of the state to enforce protection. In some cases because core zones are alienated from communities these areas are seen as open access by local communities and have suffered especially from fires and focused deforestation. An alternative approach for in situ conservation of wild coffee using PFM has been explored in South West forest of Ethiopia. PFM, by engaging local communities in the management of forests is believed to increase economic and environmental benefits while reducing costs of conservation..Monthly field monitoring by communities and annual reviews with the government have turned this forest from open access to community controlled. Critically the development of market links and value chains for forest products is motivating communities to maintain and improve their forest. It is hoped that PFM will create a win-win goal – enhancing the role played by the forest in rural development and ensuring the conservation of wild coffee genetic resources.

In-situ Conservation of Wild Coffee - Exploring the Potential of Participatory Forest Management in South West Ethiopia - Tolera Lemenih O'Hara and W.pdf - Accepted Version

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