Trees, soils, and warthogs – distribution of services and disservices from reforestation areas in southern Ethiopia

Anja Byg*, Paula Novo, Mengistu Dinato, Awdenegest Moges, Tewodros Tefera, Bedru Balana, Teshale Woldeamanuel, Helaina Black

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

12 Citations (Scopus)
6 Downloads (Pure)


Conservation projects have often been criticised for creating global benefits while causing negative impacts on local livelihoods. Ecosystem services approaches have been seen as one way to change this by focussing explicitly on maintaining ecosystems for human well-being of stakeholders at various scales. However, ecosystem services approaches have often ignored trade-offs between groups of people and issues of power and do not automatically lead to better outcomes in terms of human well-being. Here we report on a study on the impacts of reforestation projects with an explicit focus on human well-being in three communities in southern Ethiopia. We investigated the distribution of services and disservices from reforestation using qualitative methods. Results showed that the services and disservices from reforestation were distributed unequally across space and wealth groups resulting in widespread dissatisfaction with existing reforestation projects despite the explicit focus on human benefits. To improve outcomes of reforestation it is necessary to acknowledge and manage disservices adaptively, include issues of power and make trade-offs transparent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)112-119
Number of pages8
JournalForest Policy and Economics
Early online date7 Jun 2017
Publication statusPrint publication - 1 Nov 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Conservation
  • Ecosystem services
  • Reforestation
  • Trade-offs

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