Our recent projects focus mainly on forests and wetlands.

A major area of work at SLA is exploring the ways forest-based enterprises can be developed to support the sustainable management of tropical forests. The goal is to make the forests a competitive land use which can “pay its way”. Work here has focused on the application of Participatory Forest Management and the development of non-timber forest products in south-west Ethiopia..

The focus of this work is on supporting government and communities to develop clear arrangements for forest use and management. This includes the rights and responsibilities of communities, which form the basis of the revenue streams they are able to develop. Exploring how to improve the value chains for forest products and develop appropriate institutional arrangements in communities and at higher levels have been key areas of work to date.

There are two major projects which have established the SLA work in this area:

The Non-Timber Forest Products and Participatory Forest Management Project (completed in 2013)
The Wild Coffee Conservation by Participatory Forest Management Project (to be completed in 2016).

In addition SLA currently supports the operations of the REDD+ Participatory Forest Management in South-West Ethiopia (REPAFMA-SWE) project that is implemented by EWNRA and the Development Fund of Norway. The project runs from 2013 to 2015.

The majority of donor funds is made available through:


Wetland management for sustainable livelihoods has been a key concern of staff at SLA over many years. Building from a field research project in Ethiopia in the 1990s, SLA staff contributed to several international studies. The culmination of this work has been a recent publication of a book on “Wetland Management and Sustainable Livelihoods in Africa”.

A key focus of the work with wetlands has been to change the paradigm of international thinking about these areas from conservation to sustainable utilization. This is critical in order to address development goals and to cope with climate change.

Multiple use of wetlands for a range of livelihood benefits, within a landscape perspective has been supported by research, along with the development of wetland enterprises and management institutions. In these ways sustainable livelihoods can be developed which are resilient in the face of climate change, natural disasters and the evolving economic situation.

For more information please consult www.wetlandaction.org

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