Ethiopia’s Sustainable Land Management (SLM) Program

The Lalibela countryside with the Lasta Mountains in the background

Program Summary

PROGREEN is supporting Ethiopia’s Ethiopia Resilient Landscapes and Livelihoods Project to:

  • Address land and forest degradation and biodiversity loss
  • Improve climate resilience, land productivity and carbon storage
  • Increase access to diversified livelihood activities in selected rural watersheds

Support targets the forest and agricultural landscape of South-West Ethiopia with a focus on watersheds adjacent to three Protected Areas: Gambella National Park, Maze National Park and Chebera Churchura National Park. The program responds to a request from the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC) to provide support for “Strengthening Integrated Protected Areas Management and Sustainable Community Livelihoods” and the Ministry of Agriculture’s (MoA’s) interest in supporting and diversifying agriculture-based livelihoods, community development and natural resources management around the targeted Protected Areas.  The project is working on expanding and implementing participatory watershed planning and management, and on landscape connectivity, monitoring of sustainable landscape management outcomes, and private sector investment.  


Land degradation affects one in five people in Ethiopia. A lack of incentives for the adoption of sustainable land management practices, weak land tenure security, limited technical support and inadequate community participation have resulted in 80 percent of the country suffering from significant land degradation. The Government of Ethiopia (GoE) is committed to addressing these issues and is working with the World Bank and other development partners such as Germany, Norway, and Canada through the implementation of the Ethiopia Strategic Investment Framework (ESIF). This program scales-up the current SLM investments and for the first time, will include protected areas in the target area for conservation and sustainable use of natural resources and biodiversity (consistent with the ESIF).


The targeted area for PROGREEN investment is the South-West Ethiopian landscape, an under-served region that has high potential to operationalize a landscape approach while establishing and managing green-corridors. PROGREEN support will be delivered as additional financing through the Resilient Livelihoods and Landscape Project (RLLP). PROGREEN funds will be used to address land and forest degradation and the loss of biodiversity in a participatory and integrated manner, by: 

  1. Developing a long-term vision for the conservation of protected area landscapes and strengthening existing coordination platforms of relevance to protected areas and sustainable land and natural resources management. This will include support to strengthen the contribution of EFCCC and EWCA to the national sustainable land management program - as defined in the ESIF. 
  2. Exploring options for leveraging private sector investment for eco- and community-based tourism that can help increase revenue generation in targeted protected areas. 
  3. Scaling-up sustainable land and forest management through participatory watershed planning and management. 
  4. Identifying and support for the implementation of management plans for green corridors to maintain ecological connectivity within and outside agricultural landscapes.
  5. Designing geospatial monitoring applications of watersheds to monitor the results of sustainable land and forest management; and 
  6. Diversifying livelihoods in degraded areas adjacent to protected area boundaries and developing agricultural value chains to boost returns for farmers. 

These activities will contribute to addressing drivers of land degradation and enhance carbon sequestration at the landscape level which is consistent with the government’s commitment to AFR100. There will be a strong focus to promote a coordinated response in monitoring landscape and watershed approaches between MoA and EFCCC

[Expected] Results:

PROGREEN support will enable GoE to significantly reduce deforestation of high conservation value forests in and around the targeted protected areas. Specifically, PROGREEN funds will be used to address land and forest degradation and the loss of biodiversity in a participatory and integrated manner.