The BaleMountains of Ethiopia, within the Regional State of Oromia, are of critical economic, biodiversity and ecological importance. This importance has been recognised through the establishment of the BaleMountainsNational Park and several National Forest Priority Areas. Despite this, there has been little active or effective management of natural resources in the area. Unsustainable exploitation and degradation throughout the massif increasingly threaten not only the livelihoods of the many thousands of people directly dependent on the natural resources, but also the survival of a unique fauna and flora whose economic potential as a basis for tourism in particular remains unfulfilled. In addition, the ecological processes, of which the watershed value of the BaleMountains is of primary importance, are also threatened.
The main central area of the BaleMountains is a high plateau, much of which is over 4000m with several peaks rising from it. The highest of these is Tullu Dimtu (4377m), the second highest point in Ethiopia. South of the plateau the land falls steeply to the moist tropical HarennaForest, starting at approximately 3700m and extending down to 1500m. The northern area is made up of high ridges and broad valleys mainly lying at altitudes of 3000-3500m and comprisingjuniper (Juniperus procera) and hagenia (Hagenia abyssinica) woodlands, grasslands and wetlands.
The right anglewas invited to explore and advise on the development of sustainable angling tourism in the Bale Mountain Eco-regions.
The overall Goal to which the programme will make a significant contribution is;
The unique biodiversity and vital ecological processes of the BaleMountains Ecoregion(s), and the social and economic well being of communities dependent on the Ecoregionís natural resources, are mutually and sustainably enhanced.
The Purpose that the programme will achieve is;
To support the government and local communities in the sustainablemanagement of natural resources in the Bale Ecoregion(s) while contributing to sustainable livelihoods and the local and national economy