Poverty Alleviation and Environmental Restoration Using the Clean Development Mechanism: A Case Study from Humbo, Ethiopia

Brown, D. R., et al., 2011. Environmental Management

Original research (primary data)
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Poverty, hunger and demand for agricultural land have driven local communities to overexploit forest resources throughout Ethiopia. Forests surrounding the township of Humbo were largely destroyed by the late 1960s. In 2004, World Vision Australia and World Vision Ethiopia identified forestry-based carbon sequestration as a potential means to stimulate community development while engaging in environmental restoration. After two years of consultation, planning and negotiations, the Humbo Community-based Natural Regeneration Project began implementation-the Ethiopian organization’s first carbon sequestration initiative. The Humbo Project assists communities affected by environmental degradation including loss of biodiversity, soil erosion and flooding with an opportunity to benefit from carbon markets while reducing poverty and restoring the local agroecosystem. Involving the regeneration of 2,728 ha of degraded native forests, it brings social, economic and ecological benefits-facilitating adaptation to a changing climate and generating temporary certified emissions reductions (tCERs) under the Clean Development Mechanism. A key feature of the project has been facilitating communities to embrace new techniques and take responsibility for large-scale environmental change, most importantly involving Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR). This technique is low-cost, replicable, and provides direct benefits within a short time. Communities were able to harvest fodder and firewood within a year of project initiation and wild fruits and other non-timber forest products within three years. Farmers are using agroforestry for both environmental restoration and income generation. Establishment of user rights and local cooperatives has generated community ownership and enthusiasm for this project-empowering the community to more sustainably manage their communal lands.

Case studies

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-124-1
  • Intervention type: Combination
  • Intervention description:

    Combination of restoration and management. Project is part of the Clean Development Mechanism called Farmer Managed Nat- ural Regeneration (FMNR). degraded forest ...are now being restored and sustainably managed through species selection, coppicing, protection from livestock and strategic replant- ing. Not only does FMNR restore the natural forest without the effort of replanting, by emphasizing the regeneration of native vegetation it avoids the negative consequences of some exotic species and addresses con- cerns about the reduced biodiversity associated with new plantations

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: Yes
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Reduced water availability  Positive reported outcome is based on a post 3-year project evaluation including interviews with key informants from the community
    Freshwater flooding  Positive reported outcome is based on a post 3-year project evaluation including interviews with key informants from the community
    Soil erosion  Positive reported outcome is based on a post 3-year project evaluation including interviews with key informants from the community
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    Forests surrounding the township of Humbo

  • Country: Ethiopia
  • Habitat/Biome type: Tropical and subtropical forests |
  • Issue specific term: Not applicable


  • Notes on intervention effectivness: Effectiveness determined from anecdotal evidence from community members and project managers clarification ac 8.23.2019 - it was a post 3-year project evaluation including interviews with key informants from the community
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Not applicable
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: Yes
  • Impacts on GHG: Positive
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: Yes
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Positive
  • Ecosystem measures: Anecdotal: vegetation increase, "sightings have been made of wildlife, which had previously left the area, including antelope and wild goat." "observed an increased presence of wildlife and birds in the forest."
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: Yes
  • Impacts for people: Positive
  • People measures: anecdotal: observed changes as a result of the project with respect to community empowerment and improved governance systems (created community cooperatives), provisioning of NTFP (e.g. fire wood, fruits, fodder production)
  • Considers economic costs: Yes
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Qualitative
  • Is it experimental: No
  • Experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Empirical case study
  • Study is systematic: