Get the CIFOR publications update

CIFOR publishes over 400 publications every year on forests and climate change, landscape restoration, rights, forest policy, agroforestry and much more in multiple languages.

Resettlement and woodland management problems and options: a case study from north-western Ethiopia

Resettlement and woodland management problems and options: a case study from north-western Ethiopia

Deforestation in African dry forests is widespread and its drivers are complex and vary in space and time. In this paper, we assessed impacts of immigration on dry forests and options for improved management in a resettlement district in north-western Ethiopia. Key informants interviews, focus group discussions and household questionnaire survey were used to collect data. The results indicated that forests of the district are degrading in spatial coverage and quality. The most important drivers were land use change, excessive wood harvest, grazing pressure and forest fire following immigration. The continuous influx of people with different origins, cultures, religions and lengths of residence in the district underscores absence of social bonds for collective action to regulate access. This, coupled with weak formal regulatory system, market forces and policy incentives for farming, resulted in a near open access situation. Our findings confirm the negative relationships between migration and environment not necessarily because of the mere population number added through immigration but because of lack of regulatory frameworks (formal or informal) and poor social capital. Enforcing existing policy of farm size and putting institutional framework on the ground to regulate rate of immigration, extraction of forest products and to encourage tree planting to meet wood demand are suggested measures. We conclude that Government programmes that opt for resettlement as a measure for poverty alleviation must also have mitigating measures to reducing negative impacts on the natural resource base. Thus, the trade-off between environment and development must be carefully managed.

Authors: Lemenih, H.; Kassa, H.; Kassie, G.T.; Abebaw, D.; Teka, W.

Topic: degraded forests,degraded land,resettlement,woodlands,community ecology,dry forests

Geographic: Ethiopia

Publication Year: 2014

ISSN: 1099-145X

Source: Land Degradation & Development. 25(4): 305-318

DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2136

Altmetric score:

Export Citation

Related viewing


CIFOR website usability survey

We're conducting research on our website and we'd love to hear from you about your experience on This will help us make improvements and prioritize new features. The survey should only take 5 minutes, and your responses are completely anonymous.

If you have any questions about the survey, please email us:

We really appreciate your input!

Start survey
I don’t want to participate
Remind me later