Africa-Press – Ethiopia. The absence of land-use-system in Ethiopia is the major driving factor that has been complicating the wildlife conservation activities across the country, Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) disclosed.
A panel discussion was held today in Addis Ababa to discuss on strategizing wildlife conservation through effective protected areas management.
During the discussion it was indicated that though Ethiopia is endowed with abundant protected wildlife resources, the nation has not been able to tap the resources for its development due to various challenges including human-wildlife conflict, lack of capacity to manage the sector and poor infrastructure.
The advantages of protected areas of wildlife to ensuring sustainable development and economic growth is huge, the panelists indicated, however they underlined the need for quality management, adequate fund and trained human resources in order to properly secure the benefits.
The panelists have also stressed the need to prepare proper and comprehensive land use policy, and strong institutional capacity to effectively manage the protected areas development and wildlife conservation in the country.
Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) Director-General, Kumera Wakjira told journalists that a study has to be conducted to prepare land-use-system with a view to ensuring the sustainable development and conservation of wildlife in Ethiopia.
The development of protected areas and wildlife conservation, according to him, is a complex task due to many factors, with the absence of comprehensive land-use-policy being a major driving factor that requires prior focus.
“Most of all, as a country we are missing one thing in our country, which requires prior focus, that is land-use-system,” Kumera pointed out.
The issue of conservation gets complicated due to the growth of population and other factors, he said, adding that improper use of the land is causing destruction on protected areas and wildlife.
So, the major driving factor behind is the absence of land-use system, the director-general stressed.
He has further underscored the need for institutional capacity and financing mechanism and materializing important advice of the researchers and scientists.
The Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) administers about 14 percent of the country’s total area as protected areas and the country has 27 national parks.