Land Tenure Induced Deforestation and Environmental Degradation in Ethiopia: The Case of Arbagugu State Forest Development and Protection Project (A Historical Survey ca 1975-1991)
Conventionally, different factors like lack of technology, population explosion, a search for arable land, the need for construction materials, the expansion of commercial farms, and others are considered to be causes of deforestation in Ethiopia. This being true, however, the much neglected but crucial aspect of environmental degradation and a sequel to environmental malaise is not yet given the attention it deserves. The objective of this paper is to explore the cause and impact of this overarching problem by focusing on Arbagugu State Forest Development and Protection Project, North East Arsi in between 1975-1991. This work is a case study of environmental history and is qualitative with both analytic and narrative approaches. Data for this study are culled both from primary and secondary sources as well as published and unpublished materials found in different places. To corroborate the written documents, information gathered through interview from oral informants contemporary to the event is used. For a better understanding of the historical events unfolding in the region I have employed the degradation narrative. The finding shows the causal factors are the ineffective land tenure systems followed by the different governments of Ethiopia.
Key terms: Deforestation, Ecological malaise, degradation, Natural
Resources, State forest Reserve
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