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Ethiopia: RELIVES: REsilient LIVelihoods and sustainable Ecosystems in the Simien Mountains National Park (SMNP) – ETH952

The livelihood of the communities around the Simien Mountains National Park (SMNP) highly depends on the park’s natural resources, agriculture, and livestock. Potable water can only be accessed from very few springs that are located inside the park. As a result, people from households that are not located close to the park borders must travel long distances. With frequent human and livestock traffic to access water, this has been contributing to land degradation, pollution, and loss of biodiversity inside the park. These highland communities are exposed to various effects of environmental shocks – with erosive rains, overgrazing, land overuse, unsustainable farming practices and deforestation contributing to high rates of poverty and food insecurities. Few farmers are engaging in small-scale irrigation farming. However, these irrigation schemes are not effective as they are affected by the depletion of ground water. Additionally, the COVID-19 pandemic and an ongoing conflict in Northern Ethiopia regions have affected production. In 2021, 5.5 million people (61% of the population in Tigray, Afar and Amhara) faced high levels of acute food insecurity. Due to harmful norms and traditions – women, youth, persons with disabilities, elderly persons and other most vulnerable groups are disproportionally affected by these challenges.


The project aims to achieve an overall impact of sustainable, gender transformative and inclusive development of the communities in and around the SMNP.

Project Outcomes

Outcome 1: Natural resources, biodiversity and ecosystems are well protected through community and stakeholder involvement in restoration, rehabilitation and conservation measures in the SMNP and surrounding kebeles.

Outcome 2: Livelihood options for women, youth and vulnerable groups are diversified and improved while at the same time, gender equality, climate-resilience and sustainable natural resource management are enhanced.

Outcome 3: Capacities of Ethiopia Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA)/SMNP in inclusive participatory approaches are enhanced and coordination mechanisms at relevant regional, zonal, woreda and kebele level are improved.

Main Activities
  • Support communities to identify, establish and manage watersheds, including developing a watershed development plan.
  • Support communities in implementing sustainable land management interventions and adapting to climate change
  • Support communities in improvement of sustainable livestock production and productivity.
  • Support local government to identify, establish and manage watersheds, including development of watershed development plans
  • Support government (incl. EWCA/SMNP) to implement sustainable land management interventions and livestock production and productivity
  • Increase capacity of women, youth and vulnerable persons and households that are willing to move out of parklands to engage in income generating activities, while supporting communities in changing social norms that are hindering gender-equitable practices
  • Support government efforts to accelerate marginalized groups’ engagement in income generating activities and to challenge social norms that are hindering gender-equitable practices.
  • Strengthen knowledge and capacities of community and government to address impacts of climate change on sustainable management of natural resources.
  • Training and mentoring EWCA/SMNP staff in utilizing inclusive participatory approaches.
  • Support and strengthen the coordination of EWCA/SMNP and relevant government entities activities at regional, zone, woreda and kebeles levels.

Simien Mountains National Park, North Gondar Zone, Amhara regional state, Ethiopia


150,700 primary beneficiaries (at least 70% women, youth, and vulnerable persons)

Project implementing partners

This project is being implemented by CARE and ORDA Ethiopia.


01.11.2022 – 31.10.2025

Total Budget

€ 3,333,333


This project is funded by the Austrian Development Agency (ADA) (with funds of Austrian Development Cooperation) and CARE Austria.

This project contributes to the following sustainable development goals (SDGs):