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Between 1992 and 1995, under the former SEE program, and with funding from Norwegian People’s Aid, an innovative land restoration trial was carried out in three Eritrean villages. The project aimed to expand local people’s livelihood options in degraded East African highlands.

In 2014-15, with significant funding from the Drylands Coordination Group, Mind the Gap Research and Training undertook an evaluation that examined the impact of this initiative 20 years later.

Evaluation results were overwhelmingly positive. They proved that it is possible to restore heavily degraded land with highly prized native trees while simultaneously improving local livelihoods through improved grazing, soil erosion control, fast growing trees, and increased wood supply.

Seminar Discussion Points:

  • Reforestation and silvicultural approaches that enable people to harvest exotic eucalyptus sustainably while native trees, herbs and grasses successfully establish among the eucalyptus
  • Micro-watershed and landscape-scale watershed protection, and soil erosion control
  • Climate change mitigation, Protected Areas management, and biodiversity conservation
  • The factors which facilitated continued local conservation efforts throughout the 20 years since the project’s completion; and
  • Scaling up ecological restoration throughout East Africa, through a growing network of African Mountain Woodland specialists who met for the first time at a DCG-sponsored international conference in Oslo in November 2014.

Please find attached Evaluation Report for Drylands Coordination Group and Results Sheet. An updated Evaluation Report through DCG is now in preparation. For more information please contact Erlend Draget at Department for Civil Society.

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