In northern Ethiopia, temperatures are rising, trees are disappearing, land is becoming infertile and the desert is spreading. The Metema forest in Ethiopia is in the last green belt before the start of the desert. Without action, it will be on the brink of extinction in just 20 years.
The climate crisis, high rates of tree felling and unsustainable tapping for frankincense, is stopping the frankincense forest from regenerating. This will have a devastating impact on communities who rely on the forest for food and income. There will be no buffer between them and the encroaching desert.
The Metema forest is particularly special because of its frankincense trees which are a lifeline for local communities. In this part of Ethiopia, they provide up to 30% of household income for the families who sell their resin which is used as incense and in essential oils around the world.
While frankincense trees can provide a vital source of income, unsustainable practices used to extract the resin, are putting their future at risk. That's why, through this project we will support communities with the tools and training they need to sustainably use frankincense trees and protect them for the future.
This project has been made possible with match funding from the UK government through the UK Aid Match scheme. We will work with our local partner, SUNARMA, to implement this project.