Deforestation and Degradation of Juniperus Pro Cera Forest the Case of Negelle Borana

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Addis Ababa University


This is a study of deforestation and degradation of the Juniperus procera forest in Liben Awraja near Negelle Borana, as affected by human settlement and land use. The Libenarea (annual rainfall 750 - 1500 mm) is part of the Semi-arid lowlands of Ethiopia; 60-70 per cent of Liben area is used mainly for livestock raising. Only about 2 per cent of the area can marginally be used for rainfed crop farming. The Woody Vegetation of Liben area includes : the dry upland juniperus forest , woodland , bushland and ticket . The methodology used included comparative analysis of aerial photos for 1964 and 1984 , unstructured interviews among local pastoralists elders and older Negelle town residents, questionnaire survey in Negelle town and direct observation. Results show that, between 1964-84; the Juniperus procera forest around Negelle town has been reduced in size by 65 per cent and degraded. The causes are multifaceted, among of which are: the expansion of cultivation, the exploitation of wood for fuel and construction, forest fire, the inmigration of four pastoralist groups and the low regeneration capacity of this forest. The ecological consequences are difficult to assess, however. Decline in ground water level, shortage of surface water during the dry season including the widespread erosion features, such as rills, the deepending and widening of gullies indicate the extent of the ecological impact of deforestation. Recommendations are made for afforestation and conservation programmes .



Deforestation, Degradation