Message from Mekuria Argaw (Ph.D.), Director, HoARC&N-AAU

It has been a privilege for the HoAREC&N-AAU to lead the facilitation of the land use planning processes of the ILDP for the GPNRS. It is an exemplary undertaking. The absence of an integrated and synergized land-use plan has been a serious cause for the haphazard allocation of lands for various development purposes (including large scale agricultural investments).  Lack of proper analysis of the potentials, limitations, and resilience to climate change impacts and human use would have allowed destruction to the region’s continued and sustained development.   The launching and implementation of this land-use planning initiative have triggered national interest and, hence, a roadmap has been developed for conducting an Integrated National Land-use Planning at a national level. This is why this ILDP of the GPNRS is, thus, carefully aligned with the roadmap and the CRGE.

The GPNRS is unique in that it has very diverse natural habitats with relatively less disturbed and ‘pristine’ environmental conditions.   The natural moist high forests, vast woodlands, and grasslands harbor a great variety of flora and fauna. The rich hydrological resource, the highly productive land that is very suitable for irrigated and rain-fed agriculture, the unutilized/undeveloped forest resources, aquatic and fishery resources are yet untapped. The rich wildlife resources in national parks and wildlife reserves are fundamental for eco-tourism development and local economic growth. At the same time, these resources are becoming under growing threats due to uncontrolled human interference and land-use change driven by external economic and policy factors. This ILDP has been prepared to counter the imminent impacts and guide sustainable utilization of the land resources for the economic wellbeing and environmental sustainability of the region. This ILDP is intended to serve as an important instrument for the sustainable social, economic and environmental transformation of the people of the GPNRS.

The ILDP has been closely overseen by the federal and regional steering committee and advised by the federal and regional technical committee. The Bureau of Agriculture of the GPNRS coordinated with the sectoral partners and facilitated the overall process at the regional level. The main beneficiaries, the local communities, have been organized into different groups of common-commodity livelihood sectors and served as drivers of the process from bottom-up while high-level expert groups (specialist consultants) guided the process from the side-in and top-down. This final plan document is a result of an exemplary solid partnership between the HoAREC/N-AAU, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and the GPNRS. It is our hope and belief that this ILDP document will be effectively used to guide land-use decisions in the region and will serve to achieve sustainable economic transformation and natural resource use.

Mekuria Argaw (Ph.D.)

Director, HoARC&N-AAU