The Role of Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) in Environmental Protection: the Case of MELCA Ethiopia and World Vision Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa University


The role of civil society organizations (CSOs) in environmental protection endeavor is considered in this study by taking into account one from each category of CSOs that are legally operating in Ethiopia i.e. Ethiopian Residence (MELCA Ethiopia), and Foreign Charity (World Vision Ethiopia). The objectives of the study is aimed at uncovering the specific roles and activities of SEGNI environmental education program, MELCA Ethiopia, and Humbo CDM project that works on forest regeneration under World Vision Ethiopia. It also attempts to figure out the benefits and challenges experienced by the projects. The study follows a descriptive research method to effectively address the foregoing objectives. The target population considered for SEGNI is the one that runs in Holeta town among those in Sebeta town, Welmera and Sebeta Hawas woreda due to mainly the existence of active and vibrant environmental protection activities. For Humbo CDM project, the target population taken in to account is the Humbo community that is organized under seven forest cooperatives. Abella Longena forest cooperative was targeted among the seven due to a relatively vast area it covered, high membership size, and sale and revenue sharing of carbon trading. The study employed both probability (i.e. simple random) and non-probability (purposive) sampling techniques appropriately. About 10 % of representative samples were selected using lottery method that yield 113 samples among the total 1125 SEGNI club members in Holeta and 90 samples from the 903 members at the cooperative. As a result of an active participation of members in environmental education, SEGNI members are able to acquire various ecological, cultural and indigenous knowledge, and it helped them develop attitudinal change, social responsibility, communication skill, and become proactive and action-oriented. The findings regarding the forest regeneration activities at Humbo woreda show that members are able to get full access to social, economic and legal benefits, not to mention the restoration of rich forest coverage that significantly decreased the environmental problems the community used to face. The environmental protection endeavors undertaken by both projects which are the first in its kind in Ethiopia have been well- recognized both nationally and internationally. And the success of the projects could be replicated elsewhere so as to reach out to a wider community whose overall impact will greatly contribute to a better living environment for all living things. The Charities and Societies proclamation (no. 621/2009) and the 70/30 directive have been found to be restrictive as it significantly affects local CSOS like MELCA Ethiopia. CSOs working towards environmental protection are therefore recommended to forge one umbrella so as to lobby against national and international laws affecting their operations and to create regional and international integration and networking for experience sharing and technical support.. Key Words: Environmental Protection, Civil Society Organizations, SEGNI program, Humbo CDM project, MELCA Ethiopia, World Vision Ethiopia



Environmental Protection, Civil society organizations, SEGNI program, Humbo CDM project, MELCA ethiopia, World vision ethiopia