The EthioTrees Ecosystem Restoration Association, in short EthioTrees, established in 2016, is a project for environmental rehabilitation and woodland restoration in Dogu’a Tembien (Ethiopia).

Ethiotrees exclosure.jpg
An exclosure managed by EthioTrees
Mission statementPromotion of forest restoration and non-timber forest production, by supporting woodland natural regeneration and ecosystem services[1]
ProductsCarbon offset, Incense, Ground water
LocationHagere Selam, Dogu’a Tembien
OwnerNon-Profit Organisation
Key peopleSil Lanckriet, Seifu Gebreselassie, Hannes Cosyns, Gebrekidan Mesfin, Jan Nyssen, Miro Jacob, Meybale
Established2016 (2016)


Since many years, there has been severe land degradation and desertification in Tigray and the area became also impoverished; however, a lot of efforts are done to rehabilitate these semi-arid mountain landscapes.[2] Since 1994, researchers, students, and field assistants have studied the environment of Dogu’a Tembien. To contribute to the ongoing effort for rehabilitation, they initiated development projects that addressed in the first place land conservation, ecosystem services, and livelihood.[3] EthioTrees is one of these projects.


EthioTrees has as objectives:[3]

  • to enhance community-driven woodland restoration in exclosures
  • to sequester carbon in exclosures, both as above-ground biomass and soil organic matter
  • to develop and valorise ecosystem services, including:
* ground water availability
* honey production
* incense (oil) production

Associations of landless farmersEdit

EthioTrees not only improves soil organic carbon, biomass, groundwater recharge, or biodiversity but also cash income for landless farmers. Most farmers estimate that lack of access to water is the main problem for their livelihood. In addition, landless youngsters derive much less income from sales of livestock or agricultural produce, in comparison to farmers with land.[4] The communities are invited to design and implement the project themselves; for this purpose, EthioTrees uses a participatory mapping approach during all phases of the project.[3]

Ethiotrees project meeting

EthioTrees’ exclosuresEdit

The EthioTrees project manages these exclosures:[5]

Ecosystem restoration and valorisationEdit

EthioTrees manages 18 exclosures with a total area of 1174 hectares in 2017[6] and 1596 ha in 2018.[5][7] The older the exclosures, the higher is the total carbon content in vegetation and soil.[8] EthioTrees has calculated that they manage to sequester 9.2 tonnes CO2 per year per hectare.[3]

Carbon offsetEdit

The sequestered carbon is certified using the Plan Vivo voluntary carbon standard,[4] after which carbon credits are sold, among others to Davines, an Italian producer of beauty products. This company at the same time wishes to create a virtuous impact on people and the environment.[2] The revenues are then reinvested in the villages, according to the priorities of the communities; it may be for an additional class in the village school, a water pond, conservation in the exclosures, or a store for incense.[3]


Main partners of Ethiotrees are[1]


  1. ^ a b EthioTrees project website
  2. ^ a b EthioTrees on Davines website
  3. ^ a b c d e Reubens, B. and colleagues (2019). Research-based development projects in Dogu'a Tembien. In: Geo-trekking in Ethiopia's Tropical Mountains - The Dogu'a Tembien District. SpringerNature. ISBN 978-3-030-04954-6.
  4. ^ a b EthioTrees on Plan Vivo website
  5. ^ a b De Deyn, Jonathan (2019). Benefits of reforestation on Carbon storage and water infiltration in the context of climate mitigation in North Ethiopia. Master thesis, Ghent University.
  6. ^ Davines presenta il bilancio di sostenibilità 2018
  7. ^ La Lettre de Tesfay, N° 28, September 2019 (Liége, Belgium)
  8. ^ Wolde Mekuria, and colleagues (2011). "Restoration of Ecosystem Carbon Stocks Following Exclosure Establishment in Communal Grazing Lands in Tigray, Ethiopia". Soil Science Society of America Journal. 75 (1): 246–256. Bibcode:2011SSASJ..75..246M. doi:10.2136/sssaj2010.0176.

External linksEdit