Ethiopia is affected by a high rate of deforestation and land degradation and shows a particular willingness to solve these problems through major reforestation projects by communities. Other development actors, such as NGOs, also carry out such projects on a more localized scale. Both in Ethiopia and at international level, the factors that make reforestation projects successful remain poorly documented. This study focuses on a central aspect of reforestation projects, which is the sustainable participation of local populations. Based on a qualitative study in three villages in the Benishangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia, we present different factors influencing the participation of local communities in bamboo reforestation projects carried out by governmental and non-governmental actors. The analysis of the institutional context and the local implementation of these projects makes it possible to understand what the role and involvement of different actors in this type of project will be. A study of the internal logics specific to each actor opens a discussion on ways for sustainable community participation in reforestation projects in Ethiopia.