Natural resource degradation tendencies in Ethiopia: a review
Environmental Systems Research
Background Ethiopia is gifted with abundant natural resources of adequate landmass, fertile soil, favorable climate, water, wildlife, and others. Many of its resources are not properly identified, well managed, and fully exploited. The concern of this review is collating the current state of knowledge about the status of land, water, forest, rangeland and wildlife resources, and hence, assesses their degradation tendencies. Results In Ethiopia, natural resources are under the influence of
... s interconnected factors like population pressure, agricultural expansion, migration, rapid urbanization, resettlement, climate change, and environmental pollution. Its huge population number had been putting a great burden on the sustainability of almost all types of natural resources. There is, therefore, serious degradation of land, water, forest, rangeland, and wildlife resources that appear to feed off each other. This results in severe soil loss, low vegetative cover, unsustainable farming practice, continuous use of dung and crop residues for fuel, overgrazing, and destruction and/or migration of wildlife, which again are intensifying the degradation of available resources in a vicious circle. The process ends with amplified environmental consequences such as water quality deterioration, biodiversity decline, and averts ecosystem services. It further recapitulates towards diverse socio-economic problems, political instability, marginalization, poverty, and recurrent natural hazards. The Ethiopian governments have taken several steps to address these problems like launching soil and water conservation campaign, tree planting programs, and others; success to date, however, has been limited. Conclusions Special attention has to be given to properly manage the natural resources and ecosystems; so that, it can continue to provide the goods and services the population need.