Sustainable Forest Management (SFM) Toolbox

Case Details

Forest plantations and woodlots in Ethiopia

The importance of the plantation sector in Ethiopia is increasing as the demand for raw materials is rising and the supply from the natural forests is decreasing. The forest plantation area has increased from an estimated 190 000 ha in 1990 to c. 972 000 ha today. Of this area, c. 190 000 ha are classified as commercial plantations and the remaining 80% are non-industrial plantations. Ethiopia started large scale industrial plantations with the primary purpose of supplying industrial round wood for the production of sawn wood, wood-based panels and wood pulp in the early 1970s with support from the Swedish government. Commercial plantations are mainly exotic tree species with only a few indigenous species in some of the National Forest Priority Areas. Plantations are not expected to provide the multiple uses and services which used to be available from the natural forests. The supply of industrial wood from plantations is of poor quality due to the current deficient management practices. Most seed procurement is carried out from natural forests and plantations which are set aside as seed stands and from the central seed store of the Forestry Research Institute. Forest plantations are managed on a plant-clear fell-replant cycle, except where coppicing species are used. The routine maintenance operations - weeding, cleaning, pruning and thinning - are often neglected with negative consequences for productivity and quality. Community woodlots are also common in Ethiopia.
Type of Case
Printed publication (book, sourcebook, journal article…)
African Forest Forum
Forest Type
Planted forest
Primary Designated Function