The Socio-economic and Bio-cultural Significances of Biodiversity Hotspots and Important Habitats in Assosa and Bambasi Woredas of Benshangul Gumuz Regional State, Ethiopia

Dereje Mosissa


This study was done with the aim of analyzing the socioeconomic and bio-cultural significance of biodiversity of biodiversity hotspot areas in Assosa Zone of Benishangul Gumuz Regional state of Ethiopia. Forests in Ethiopia are threatened by unsustainable uses and conversion to alternative land uses. In spite of the consequences of forest degradation and biodiversity loss and reliance of communities on forests livelihoods, there is little empirical data on the role of biodiversity in livelihoods of the local communities. This study was done in Benishangul Gumuz Regional state, in selected kebeles of Assosa and Bambasi Districts aiming to determin the Socioeconomic and biocultural uses of biodiversity to the local communities living around biodiversity hotspot areas selected. These data were obtained by interviewing 151 households. Forest product market survey was undertaken to determine prices of various forest products for valuation of forest use. Forest income was significant to households contributing 33% of total household income. Fuel wood contributed 50%, food (27%), construction material (48%), and fodder, and thatching material 51% to household forest income. Absolute forest income and relative forest income (%) were significantly different across study locations and between ethnic groups. Moreover, floral and faunal diversity was determined through transect walk along straight line in all biodiversity hotspot areas selected (Anbessa, Kolkis and Mender-42 forests). More than 118 plant species and four community types namely: Combretum molle-Croton macrostachyus (community I); Dichrostachys cinerea-Carrisa spinarum (community II); Cordia africana-Terminalia laxiflora community (Community III) and Ziziphus abyssinica- Syzygium guineense community (Community IV) were identified. Moreover, the areas are home to 20 species of mammals, over 60 species of birds, 12 species of fish, and small mammals, bats, reptiles, and amphibians. These results provide valuable information on the role of forest resources to livelihoods and could be applied in developing biodiversity conservation policies for enhanced ecosystem services and livelihoods of the study areas.

Keywords: biodiversity hotspots, bicultural, biodiversity conservation, socioeconomic, floral and faunal diversity,

DOI: 10.7176/JRDM/68-03

Publication date:August 31st 2020


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