By working with the local community, we will plant trees across 10,000 hectares to help reforest degraded landscapes, increase water resources, and decrease the impact of landslides while alleviating extreme poverty for communities in need.

A view of the Omo River on the road to Dawro.

Why reforest in Ethiopia?

Inequitable development, slash-and-burn agricultural practices, charcoal production, and general overexploitation of forest resources have contributed significantly to the degradation of Ethiopia’s forest habitats. Plus, most communities in these rural regions rely directly on the land to meet their daily needs, such as food, water, and shelter. As forests continue to disappear, the less these communities are able to survive off the land’s natural resources.

  • 428,000 hectares

    of tree cover were lost between 2001 and 2020

  • 23.5% Ethiopians

    live below the poverty line

Our nursery and planting site from our initial launch of our Ethiopia program in Udo Watette.

How we started

In 2005, we launched our first project when Ethiopia’s President Hailemariam Desalegn of the Southern Nations and Nationalities People’s Region asked Steve to help run a forest restoration project at the Udo Escarpment near Hawassa, Ethiopia. After seven years, we ended our work in Ethiopia with nearly 16 million trees produced, planted, and protected by over 3,500 local community members. Now, a decade later, we are returning to Ethiopia to work with local communities in Dawuro to develop a reforestation model that aligns with the region’s forest types as well as the communities’ needs.

The dam on the Omo River provides hydroelectric power to nearby communities but cuts off a reliable water supply for farmers.

  • Dawuro zone

    • Located in the heart of the Omo Valley of Ethiopia

    • Riverine forests and highland peaks restoration

    • An agroforestry program to promote food security

A nursery near our Disa site producing seedlings and seedballs.

Our success

As we relaunch our work in Ethiopia, we have identified Farmer Managed Natural Regeneration (FMNR), seed balls, and seedling nurseries as the primary planting methods for this region. Using these methods to reforest the Dawuro zone will help address the devastation deforestation has had on the area, such as decreased water resources, increased landslides, and degraded landscapes. In the next year, our goal is to launch eight project sites across the country to help reforest once highly degraded areas, all while providing new opportunities for economic self-sufficiency to communities experiencing extreme poverty.

  • 2

    project sites

  • 4 employees

    empowered with fair wages

How you can help plant trees and save lives