Natural Forest and Climate Change Research Directorate

Natural Forest and Climate Change Research Directorate (NFCC-RD)

The NFCC-RD is one of the four research directorates under Ethiopian Forestry Development (EFD). It is mandated to undertake research on the natural forest ecosystems and climate change in the country.

Dr Abeje Eshete, Director, Natural Forest and Climate Change Research

Ethiopian forest resources are diverse and located across the country covering wide range of environmental and climatic factors. More than 90% of forest resources are categorized as natural forests and have great importance for the biodiversity they harbor, to adapt and mitigate climate change and for the ecosystem services they provide. Despite their huge ecological, economic and social importance threats like land-use change, climate change, forest fire, overgrazing charcoal and fuel wood production, and illegal wood harvest due to a growing human and animal population increasingly challenge the way in which forest can adapt to these changes and maintain and improve the delivery of ecosystem services, conserve biodiversity and adapt and mitigate climate change.

The main objective of the research directorate is to generate and/or adopt technologies, information and knowledge for sustainable management of high forests, woodlands and riparian ecosystems, to rehabilitate degraded natural forest ecosystems, for effective conservation of forest ecosystems and for adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The NFCC-RD is composed of three research projects to successfully implement its mandates and responsibilities. The three research projects are: Natural forest research projects; Climate change research projects and Forest fire and invasive species research projects. Each research project contributes to the scientific basis of sustainable utilization, conservation and management of natural forest ecosystems forests in Ethiopia, with the following main themes:

Natural Forest Research Project

  • Ecosystem based natural forest conservation and sustainable management for multiple use in order to add greater value to forest assets;
  • Long-term vegetation dynamics and forest landscape change and establishment and monitoring of long term permanent sample plots (PSPs) in various representative vegetation types for biodiversity and ecological processes
  • Develop growth, volume and yield models for different species in various vegetation types to determine the productivity and annual allowable cut;
  • Studies on sustainable harvesting of timber and non-timber forest products and impacts of harvesting trees and NTFPs on environment;
  • Silvicultural study to inform silvicultural practice through study of growth, biodiversity and regeneration
  • Undertake phenological observations and ecological niches of selected indigenous tree species in various ecosystems
  • Monitor the effects of fire, pathogens, pests, grazing, logging, shifting cultivation, and wildlife to seedling recruitment, species diversity, and soil properties
  • Land use land cover change of natural forests
  • Drivers of forest deforestation and forest degradation
  • Development of definitions, standards, classifications and, thresholds for forest development, structure of trees and forest resources deforestation and degradation data and information;
  • Plant species composition, diversity, abundance, distribution and forest community types in different forest/vegetation types of Ethiopia
  • Forest landscape restoration (high forests and woodlands/dry forests) and study on the trajectory, sustainable conservation and management of rehabilitated areas.
  • Identify, and improve growth characteristics of fast growing indigenous tree species for enrichment and restoration of degraded forests
  • Forest hydrology and watershed management
  • Study the performance of participatory forest management in Ethiopia and designs better and more viable practices based on the principles of sustainable forest management;

Climate change research project

    • Develop models to estimate carbon sequestration potential, biomass and soil carbon and carbon emissions from different forest types
  • Forest carbon stock dynamics and implications to the tapping of carbon trade;
    • Evaluation of species distribution responses as a result of climate change (species range shift);
    • Ecosystem-based climate change adaptation and mitigation to reduce vulnerability to climate change;
    • Evaluation of the impact of climate change on hydrology of forested watersheds.
    • Modeling and mapping of production and flow of ecosystem/environmental goods and services under climate change;
    • Investigate the relationship of climate change and variability with forest fires, invasive weeds, and generate solutions to reduce the risk;

Forest fire and invasive species management research project

    • Invasive plants diversity, ecological status, and distribution pattern and prevention methods of invasive plants in the forest
    • Biology, ecology and understanding the invasion dynamics of invasive plant species, particularly seed ecology and seedling establishment.
    • Identify and analyze impacts/effects of potential invasive species in various natural forest types;
    • Socio-ecological impacts of invasive plant species
    • Prioritize invasive-management practices in ecological restoration
    • Type, distribution, extent of damage and prevention methods of parasitic plants in the forest
    • Forest fires and climate change
    • Study on the forest fire causes and motivations where forest fires occur regularly
    • Examine forest response to repeated prescribed fire, the combined use of prescribed fire and other practices in different forest types, and the impacts of accidental wildfire.
    • Impact of forest fires on biodiversity and forest ecosystem
    • Identifying plant species that are resistant to forest fire in different forest ecosystems
    • Forest fire prevention and control

Contact address

Abeje Eshete (PhD)

Director, Natural Forest and Climate Change Research Directorate

    • Email: / or /
    • Mobile phone: +251 911 762494
    • Office phone: +251 116 464878

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