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Rain Forest research shows Environments and livelihoods linked

Tigrai Online
Jan. 08 2009

Messebo’s cement Factory in the outskirst of Mekelle Tigrai state

Our Friday science feature, courtesy oflecturers at the University of Huddersfield, is by Prof Adrian Wood, Emeritus Professor in the School of Applied Sciences

THE forests of Ethiopia may seem to be an unexpected place in which to find some of the practical answers to the problems of climate change discussed in Copenhagen before Christmas.

Not all Ethiopia is brown and dusty, as you might think. The little-known south-west highlands, some 600 miles from the capital of Addis Ababa, are very different.

Far away from the deserts of the south and east or the often famine stricken areas of the north, these highlands receive more than 70in of rainfall each year. The land is covered with a mixture of tropical rainforests and farmland and is the source of some important tributary rivers of the Nile. This is “Green” Ethiopia.

Such a remote and neglected area may seem a strange place for research. However, important lessons have been learned there over the last 15 years by researchers, spearheaded by myself from the University of Huddersfield.

These lessons are relevant to the growing concern about climate change — addressing both the issue of how to reduce the rate of climate change, and also how to adapt as it occurs.

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