Ethiopia Expedition 2012
“After five years of persistent conservation efforts, the first church forest in Ethiopia is completely walled with local stones and saved for future generations,” Meg Lowman reports from Zhara, Ethiopia. “It was an extraordinary day yesterday to be greeted by the priest and hundreds of grateful villagers.”
The wall has become a meeting place and conversation site, with adults and kids sitting and relaxing on the wall itself. The livestock are prevented from grazing on tree seedlings, and the construction of the wall 50 feet from the existing forest boundary, as designated by the priests, gives the forest room to expand.
The new latrine block also helps reduce the human footprint in the area; already the team has noted an apparent reduction in the population of dung beetles.
Magda (from Rob Dunn’s lab) and Mark Moffett appear to have discovered a super-colony of ants, which gives rise to all sorts of amazing questions about how insects survive in these islands of green.
For more about her efforts to preserve the church forests and reports from the field, visit Meg’s blog at http://canopymeg.com/wp/category/projects/ethiopia/.