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Title: “Environmental Crises in the Central Rift Valley Ecosystems: Opportunities and Practical Challenges”

Justification and Objectives:

The Central Rift Valley Lakes Region is known for its diverse ecosystems such as chain of lakes and wetlands, woodlands and agricultural landscapes. It has rich and unique (including six endemic birds) biodiversity and also major migratory flyway, with over 400 migratory bird species recorded including the Great White Pelican, Greater and Lesser Flamingo, Ostrich, Imperial Eagle, Lesser Kestrel and Wattled Crane. Furthermore, the central rift valley is among the most preferred area for different investment projects such as floriculture, tannery and irrigation-based year-round agricultural practices.

However, these unique ecosystems have been under threat due to many interrelated degrading factors such as deforestation, unregulated expansion of agriculture into woodland and water bodies, unsustainable use of natural resources, pollutions from floriculture sector and agrochemicals, overgrazing and water. Lack of proper land management and limited environmental law enforcement remained regional and national challenge. The lakes are being polluted by release of chemicals causing loss of biodiversity and reduced ecosystem services. Land and aquatic ecosystem degradations have become a common feature of the Central Rift Valley despite the existence of many research results and recommendations by the scientific community.

Many and diverse researches have been conducted in the central rift valley ecosystems. However, their contribution to reversing ecosystem degradation and promoting sustainable utilization of natural resources in this fragile landscape remained limited. There is urgent need to compile scientific data from the Central Rift Valley and communicate to relevant stakeholders in a way that would influence policy and decision-making processes in Ethiopia.
With this background, the Biological Society of Ethiopia in collaboration with the Environment, Biodiversity and Climate Change Forum (EBCCF) and with financial support from Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) has planned a national online conference under the title “Environmental Crises in the Central Rift Valley Ecosystems: Opportunities and Practical Challenges”.

Main theme:

Environmental Crises in the Central Rift Valley Ecosystems: Opportunities and Practical Challenges

Sub-themes:

  • Status of Ecosystems Services of Central Rift Valley (CRV) ecosystems
  • Environmental Pollution and Degradation
  • Status of Biodiversity of CRV EcosystemsImpacts of Land Cover and Land use dynamics in CRV
  • Socio-economic status and dynamics of CRV ecosystems
  • Legal and policy gaps for sustainable management of CRV ecosystems
  • Impacts of invasive alien species and related topics

Publication

Following the workshop, special issue of the Ethiopian Journal of Biological Sciences will be dedicated to this National conference.

Important dates:

Deadline for papers abstract submission – July 10
Announcement of selected papers – July 15
Submission of final papers – July 30
Virtual conference date – July 31
Sending selected papers for Peer review – August 5
Deadline for receiving 1st round peer review results – Sept. 15
Authors re-submit reviewed papers as per peer review comments – Sept. 30
Deadline for assistant editor and chief editors to accept final papers – Oct. 12
Publication of Special issue and policy brief paper – Oct. 30

Key Note Addresses by:

H.E. Prof. Fekadu Beyene, Commissioner of Environment, Forest and
Climate Change Commission

Panelists:

  • Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Former Minister of Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change and Current Staff Member of Addis Ababa University
  • Dr. Tadesse Fetahi, Director of Research, Addis Ababa University
  • Dr. Bikila Warkineh, President of Biological Society of Ethiopia
  • Dr. Melese Maryo, Director General of Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute
  • Dr. Abiyot Berhanu, Director General of Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute
  • Dr. Girma Balcha, Executive Manager of Environment, Biodiversity and Climate Change Forum (EBCCF), a Local NGO

Major Partners:

  • SIDA
  • Addis Ababa University

Participants:

  • BSE members
  • Invited panelists and guests

Conference organizers:

A. BSE Executive Committee
B. External Members:

  • Dr. Gemedo Dalle
  • Dr. Tadesse Fetahi

Documentation and publicity:

Full documentation of the conference deliberations will be published by BSE and dispatched to all stakeholders. In addition, media will be invited to attend the conference.

Download ths anouncement as PDF here.