An assessment of tangible community benefits from exclosures in Tigray, northern Ethiopia.

Socio-Ecological Practice Research

Published in 19th July, 2023.   . 


Haileselassie Ghebremariam Araya, Oliver Vivian Wasonga, Stephen Mureithi, Emiru Birhane, Nadhem Mtimet.


In Tigray, northern Ethiopia, land degradation has generally undermined the environmental goods and services (EGS) those local communities depend on for their livelihoods. Massive sustainable land management programs (SLMP) to restore degraded land have temporarily ceased to be accessible free of charge to communities because human and animal interference were seen as the main drivers of the problem. The SLMP deals with agricultural productivity and land degradation through integrated watershed and landscape management where exclosures are key components. As a result, the expected
translation of restoration outcomes into meaningful economic benefts for local communities is critical to the sustainability of the program. The current research deviated from previous studies by focusing on tangible benefts extracted by local com- unities from exclosures. A survey to understand the actual economic impacts of exclosures on the local communities was conducted in five villages of Tanqua-Abergele district of Tigray. We interviewed 331 households, 43 key informants and five focus groups each composed of 12–16 participants. Regression analysis revealed that the role of household heads in the village, governance and distance to the nearest exclosure were signifcantly associated with higher contribution of exclosure to household (CEHH) income. While gender showed positive but no signifcant effect on CEHH income, level of education was signifcantly against. A binary logistic regression showed that role of household heads in the village, governance system and gender had statistically signifcant association with higher beneft–cost ratio (BCR). While exposure to several sustainable land management training has positive but no signifcant effect, education levels were signifcantly against BCR. Discussions revealed that exclosures brought benefts to the local communities with increased water, enhancement of plant biodiversity and recovery of degraded lands. However, local communities are not making maximum tangible benefts and the contribution to household income is minimal which could counter exclosure expansion and sustainability. Maximizing benefts through designing of new irrigation sites to utilize the increment of water, planned harvest of grass for construction and animal feed, deployment of modern bee hives inside and near exclosures and creation of opportunities to collect wild fruits remain to be crucial.

Keywords:Beneft–cost ratio · Exclosure · Household income · Socioeconomic ,Village