The Support to the Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE) project

 

 

Protecting the soils of Ethiopia: the SHARE project

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By Daniel Van Rooijen

The global community has finally recognized the importance of soils. The General Assembly of the United Nations proclaimed 2015 the ‘International Year of Soils’ (IYS) and December 5th annual ‘World Soil Day.’ Healthy soils not only contribute to agricultural production and food security, but are also important facilitators of carbon storage.

Children washing clothes in a meandering highland river in the dry season. Photo Credit: Daniel Van Rooijen/IWMI. - https://wle.cgiar.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/DSCN1934_0.JPG
Children washing clothes in a meandering highland river in the dry season.
Photo Credit: Daniel Van Rooijen/IWMI. – https://wle.cgiar.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/DSCN1934_0.JPG

Over-intensive or inappropriate use of soils may cause erosion, leading to a loss of fertile topsoil that takes a great deal of time and effort to restore. Changing land cover and land use can also drastically alter the hydrology of water catchments, resulting in less water entering the soil, less river water flowing in the dry season and a higher risk of floods in river systems during heavy showers.

The vast highlands of Ethiopia are especially prone to erosion due to bad farming practices.

Children herding cattle in the highlands of the Bale Eco-Region. Photo Credit: Daniel Van Rooijen/IWMI. - https://wle.cgiar.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/20150915_135105.jpg
Children herding cattle in the highlands of the Bale Eco-Region.
Photo Credit: Daniel Van Rooijen/IWMI. – https://wle.cgiar.org/sites/default/files/images/stories/20150915_135105.jpg

The International Water Management Institute (IWMI) office in Ethiopia, on behalf of WLE, is leading the research of the EU-funded Support to the Horn of Africa Resilience (SHARE) project. SHARE is based in south central part of Ethiopia where the Bale Mountains are situated, and will run through to end of November 2017. It aims to conserve biodiversity and ecosystem functions and services in the Bale Eco-Region (BER) of Ethiopia and to improve the well being of communities that depend on these functions and services. A consortium of organizations has been brought together on SHARE: Farm Africa, SOS Sahel Ethiopia, Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS), Population Health Environment Ethiopia Consortium (PHEEC) and IWMI.

Read the full article: CGIAR – Water, Land and Ecosystems

Published by

Willem Van Cotthem

Honorary Professor of Botany, University of Ghent (Belgium). Scientific Consultant for Desertification and Sustainable Development.

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