Skip to content

Protecting the Wof Washa forest

Restoring and protecting the forest and growing businesses in Ethiopia.

The project

Wof Washa is one of the few remaining natural forests in Ethiopia, and it is hugely biodiverse. There are 193 species of plants in the forest, along with wild cats, monkeys, baboons and over half of Ethiopia’s highland bird species. Wof Washa is relied on by local people for survival, but sadly, due to deforestation and the effects of the climate crisis, it is currently under threat. 

This project supported communities affected by these issues to sustainably manage their forest, restore the land, and develop sustainable enterprises. 

Why is this project needed?

In the Wof Washa area, people struggle to get access to basic healthcare and education. There is limited access to safe drinking water, and many of the 14,000 families who live in the area are living in extreme poverty. People are dependent on trees and the land for food and income.

With deforestation occurring at an alarming rate, life has become a struggle for many people in the area. To make matters worse, heavy rains often lead to crop failure. This makes it harder for people to grow enough crops to eat and sell, and more people are forced to go hungry.

A women in bright pink clothes smiling.

Our aims

Through this project, Tree Aid set out to support communities to sustainably manage the Wof Washa forest. Through forest management training we aimed to regenerate degraded trees and prevent illegal tree cutting in the area. 

We also supported people to form enterprise groups to process and sell tree productsThis had immediate impacts, helping people to earn an income and address poverty. This work also helped to secure the resources communities rely on for years to come.

Our impact

Over the five-year project, 93 enterprise groups were established and members increased their income by selling forest products like fruit and honey. This provided them with an alternative source of food and income when crops might fail, helping them to build resilience to the climate crisis.

11 forest management cooperatives were also established and are now managing over 6,000 hectares of forest. Their work protecting and restoring local forests has even been cited as an example by the Ethiopian government. 

  • 0

    hectares of forest are now under sustainable management

  • 0

    people increased their incomes

  • 0

    people joined forest management cooperatives

Close up of Tadesse, a man that took part in Tree Aid's Wof Washa project in Ethiopia.

“Tree Aid hasn’t just given us knowledge, but skills. Together we have our own plan, and we have all the tools we need to plant and care for seedlings. Previously it was just the men who received training. Now everyone is trained and benefits.” Tadesse, Woreda, Ethiopia

Our partners

This project was made possible with funding from the Royal Botanical Gardens Kew, the UK government, and the Darwin Initiative. We worked with SUNARMA to make this project a reality.