THE ECONOMIC, BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND ECOTOURISM VALUES OF BAMBOO FORESTS IN ETHIOPIA
Journal of Economics and Trade, Volume 4, Issue 1,
Ethiopia is known for its high bamboo resource potential in Africa. The country has two indigenous bamboo species namely the highland bamboo (Arundinaria alpine) and the monotypic genus lowland bamboo (Oxytenanthera abyssinica). Bamboo is a multipurpose plant with significant economic and environmental benefits. Although the benefits of bamboo for communities in Ethiopia are diverse, the economic values at national scale, the biodiversity conservation and ecotourism values of bamboo have not been discussed in the past. Studying the different values of bamboo promotes human quality of life and national economic support though income generation. Similarly, bamboo is an important plant in enhancing biodiversity conservation and promoting ecotourism despite it has been neglected by research and development programs in the country due to the less economic benefit obtained from the forest. Hence, this study was made to review the economic, biodiversity conservation and ecotourism values of bamboo forest in Ethiopia. These issues were addressed through exploration of different studies conducted on bamboo and by referring various journals. The study revealed that bamboo provides various benefits in Ethiopia. It enabled to obtain 23-30 Million USD annually which was 0.02% of the country’s GDP during 2010-2014 G.C. Similarly, it contributes for employment opportunities, furniture and industrial materials production, construction and home use purposes, food for humans and animals, etc. Bamboo also provides biodiversity conservation and ecotourism benefits. It facilitates biodiversity conservation through protection of forest, wildlife conservation and supporting micro-organisms. While the role of bamboo in the construction of cultural houses and production of different cultural materials contributes for ecotourism development in different parts of Ethiopia. However, challenges like fire, deforestation, agriculture and related land conversion and inadequate awareness are affecting the economic, biodiversity conservation and ecotourism values of bamboo in Ethiopia.
- Bamboo forest
- biodiversity conservation
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