EWCA Presents Seminar along with FMOH, FZS and PHE Consortium Ethiopia

(By Alemayehu Hailu)

The Ethiopian wildlife conservation Authority (EWCA), together with the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH), Frankfurt Zoological Society (FZS) and PHE Consortium Ethiopia, has presented a seminar at the National Archives and Library Agency, on 18th October 2013.

The Objective behind the seminar was to alleviate the problems of wildlife protected areas thereby assuring the social benefits and the health security of the pastoralist community, dwelling around the protected areas.

On such a seminar was presented a paper-work by Ato Fedlu Abdellah, a senior expert in Human and Wildlife Conflict Management, on behalf of the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority, EWCA, with a particular reference to the Awash National Park.

According to him, though this park is known to have been the first gazetted national park in the history of the country, the dense natural resource- the flora and fauna- contained in it is becoming deteriorated time to time.

One of the major contributing factors to such a serious problem, as to the presenter, is the population growth resulted in the ever increasing cattle encroachment being undertaken by the community living in and around the protected areas. Thus, he underlined, the area is facing a severe ecological and economic crises more than ever.

W/ro Berhane Assefa, a focal person of Family Planning Service, from the Federal Ministry of Health, FMOH, has also made a presentation to the participants. She expressed that the community living around those protected areas do have a lesser understanding about the use of family planning services as result of which unwanted pregnancy and fertility rates are often very high. The focal person, W/ro Berhane, overstressed that family planning services need to be practiced in a full-fledged manner; for other wise, the cumulative effect would turn in to devastating the natural resources confined in the protected areas. 

The Executive Director of the PHE consortium Ethiopia, Ato Negash Tekle, being among the presenters, has also disclosed the fact that keeping the well-being of protected areas is highly interrelated to assuring the health security of the pastoralist community living around those areas.

He said that if it is opted for minimizing the harm protected areas are currently facing, due to a high population pressure, educating and empowering women in those areas would be the best solution which gives rise to a considerable reduction of the high fertility rate to a certain degree.

Generally, it was concluded that safeguarding the well-being of protected areas against the threats of the pastoralist community requires, more than ever, a multi-sectoral integrated approach.

At the end of the day’s program, a ‘Task force’ (an ad-hoc committee) which works sustainably on the protection of protected areas off any human act on one hand, and on the health security matters of the pastoralist community, on the other, has been established.

On such an occasion, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations such as the Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History society, the Ethiopian Family and Guidance Association, Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority, the Amhara Regional Culture and Tourism Bureau, SNNPR’s Culture and Tourism Bureau and Consortium for Reproductive Health Association, among others, and media professionals have participated.

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