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Die Wirksamkeit von Boden

Die Wirksamkeit von Boden

Land use-land cover and

Land use-land cover and normalized difference vegetation index changes in Wello 2004; Mekuria et al. 2007). The present study verifies that exclosure coverage has increased considerably while degraded land has decreased. Image analysis also indicated that old forest remnants are intact in only a few areas as thin strips or isolated groves around churches, mosques, and inaccessible areas like very steep mountains and gorges. Isolated forest patches depicted on earlier images indicate severity of forest degradation before the restoration measures. Although population of the area increasing, the current analysis indicated improvement of forest and woody grassland both in cover and density. Conversely, as shown on the 2005 to 2010 satellite data considerable areas have been showing vegetation restoration due to SWC, particularly exclosure interventions. Therefore, as opposed to earlier periods mainly before 1980´s, population growth is unlikely for the current LULC change. Policy interventions related to deforestation and LULC change in Ethiopia The way land used and managed is governed by land tenure, ownership right and administrative policies. Elderly people indicated that before the 1975 land tenure reform, land management depended on individual decisions and holdings. Those who had larger holdings kept marginal lands under forest cover, while those with small holdings cultivated these lands and used them for grazing. Moreover, before the land reform, shifting cultivation (Mofer Zemet Ersha) was extensively practiced as a strategy to restore soil fertility, thereby maintaining agricultural production. This indicates that the absence of a land use policy and the tenure systems contributed to the conversion of forests and marginal lands to agriculture (Amsalu et al. 2007). Studies showed extensive deforestation of government-owned forests in the earlier period of the reform (Omiti et al. 1999; Amsalu et al. 2007). Similarly, elderly people indicated that although the 1975 rule urged transfer of land with crops and trees to the new holders, some landlords harvested trees before the transfer. Moreover, following the reform, communal lands were freely accessed by all people. This all resulted in destruction of extensive forest cover immediately after the land reform. The government realized forest degradation and placed the 1980 forest and wildlife development policy. The policy tried to solve the problem through providing forestland ownership right to the public as state, peasant associations and urban dwellers (Anonymous 1980). This shows that great care should be taken with policy reform and 56

Land use-land cover and normalized difference vegetation index changes in Wello structural adjustment in a country like Ethiopia, where larger population depends on subsistent agriculture, otherwise the policy may negatively influence the resources base. The current government has also implemented policy reforms and carried out structural changes in order to enhance the policies of the previous periods. The transitional government forest conservation, development and utilization as well as rural land administration and use are some among others (EFAP 1994; Anonymous 2005). The rural land administration and use policy attempted to reduce land degradation, facilitate restoration of degraded land and give mandate to regions to develop their own policy taking the federal policy as an umbrella. This shows that managing and utilizing resources are based on local conditions rather than on compliance with general rules, which indicates sustainability concern that considers compatibility of the policy to the local situation. Accordingly, the Amhara region adopted the policy to the actual conditions of the region and declared its own policy, which enforces sustainable use of the land and its resources (Anonymous 2006). The policy demarcates land use based on slope in three categories. It enforces that: i) areas having less than 30% slopes are allowed for cultivation and grazing, ii) areas with 30 to 60% are allowed only for perennial crop cultivation and grass use through cut-and-carry system, and iii) cultivation and free grazing are completely prohibited on over 60% slope (Anonymous 2005). Generally, all laws and regulations by the different governments focus on the importance of natural resources conservation, proper land use and indicate the concern regarding LULC change and the associated impacts. Thus, it is possible to conclude that the current LULC change and rehabilitation of degraded land in some parts of Wello is largely associated with policy intervention. However, it is important to note that specific policies alone do not lead to improvements unless supported by stakeholder commitment to implement policies and by rising public awareness of the problem. This study also reflects that rehabilitation rate and intensity was nonlinear regardless of topographic similarity. The spatial variation of rehabilitation could be attributed to the differences in awareness/experience of the problem and/or commitment differences of the local stakeholders to implement a policy. The local-level stakeholders include local authorities (Kebele and Wereda), community and NGOs working in the area. It was also noticed that involvement of NGOs in resources conservation enhanced 57