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Gap Analysis of the Protected Areas System of Ethiopia

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The Sustainable Development of the Protected Area System of Ethiopia [SDPASE] Project is financially supported by the Global Environment Facility [GEF]/UNDP. Since it came in to existence in 2008, SDPASE has introduced new ideas and studies and created a vibrant atmosphere in the sector. In 2012, SDPASE commissioned this study to identify the conservation gaps in Ethiopia’s protected areas system. This "Gap Analysis of the Protected Areas System of Ethiopia" report has identified and mapped more than 20 areas that are absent or under-represented in the current protected areas system. The study is important in Ethiopia because these areas represent ecosystems, landscapes and species in which the unique Ethiopian culture has developed over thousands of years. The natural heritage of Ethiopia depends on the conservation of these areas. This study will help Ethiopia complete its protected areas system.

Ethiopian protected areas play an important role in the sustainable development of the country's national economy by providing environmental services such as ecotourism and safari experiences, thus contributing to the thousands of new jobs that are added each year by the tourism industry. Moreover, protected areas create a healthy environment in the form of clean water and air, the provision of water for irrigated agriculture and electricity production, and the mitigation of climate change, among other values. The investigation of this study was carried out using both national and international expertise. The study is also intended to contribute to improved management of Ethiopia's natural resources and benefit Ethiopians in all parts of the country.

Citation: Vreugdenhil, D. Vreugdenhil, A. D., Tamirat Tilahun, Anteneh Shimelis, Zelealem Tefera, 2012. Gap Analysis of the Protected Areas System of Ethiopia, with technical contributions from Nagelkerke, L., Gedeon, K. Spawls, S., Yalden, D., Lakew Berhanu, and Siege, L., World Institute for Conservation and Environment, USA.

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