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Actors and their Roles for Sustainable Forest Governance in South Eastern Ethiopia: The Case of Bale Eco-Region

Endalkachew Birhan
Engdawork Assefa
Maria A. Petrova


This study examines the roles of various actors in sustainable forest governance in south-eastern Ethiopia, focusing on the Bale Eco-Region. The study used a descriptive design with qualitative methods, including in-depth interviews and focus group discussions. The findings indicate that all critical actors have the opportunity to participate in forest governance, but this has not led to desired outcomes. The government and organized forest communities have a crucial role in jointly governing the forests through participatory forest management. The government, specifically the Environment, Forest, and Climate Change Authorities, regulates and controls all forests, while Oromia Forest and Wildlife is responsible for protecting and managing forests in the Oromia Regional State. Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), such as FARM Africa and SOS Sahel Ethiopia, indirectly influence government decisions and implement them in the Bale Eco-Region. Research institutions and media have a limited role in influencing government decisions and implementation. Despite these efforts, deforestation and forest degradation persist, and there has been insufficient improvement in the lives of forest-dependent communities. Therefore, it is crucial to empower these actors to effectively contribute to sustainable forest governance. 

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eISSN: 2523-1901