Ethiopia is known for its biodiversity and natural resources. Among these natural resources are the five biosphere reserves: Majang Forest, Yayu Coffee Forest, Keffa Forest, Lake Tana and Sheka Forest. The biosphere reserve has been registered under UNESCO World Heritage List at various times.
The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the current situation, challenges, opportunities and administrative experiences of the biosphere reserves, as well as to strengthen the work of the Man and Biosphere Reserve National Committee.
The Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI) is in charge of coordinating the work on these biosphere reserves and is conducting organizational awareness and research activities in collaboration with the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission.
The director general of the institute, Melese Mario (Dr.), said at the meeting that biosphere reserve plays an important role in In-situ biodiversity conservation.
The Commissioner of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission, Prof. Fikadu Beyene, on his part said that the country’s biosphere reserves main objectives are conserving genetic resources and ecosystems, conducting scientific research and to ensure sustainable development for the surrounding communities.
Ethiopia has been working to establish a national committee comprising federal government offices, research institutes and universities, as well as professional associations, to implement the Man and Biosphere Program. In connection with this, a draft guideline and action plan on the biosphere reserve that the committee will work on has been prepared and discussed.
In addition, the conditions, achievements and challenges of the five biosphere reserves were discussed, and the annual meeting concluded with way forward and the approval of the draft guideline.