Protected Areas in Ethiopia
Falling under the NRCDMD (Natural Resources Conservation and Development Main Department) is the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Organisation (EWCO), which is directly responsible for the establishment, administration and management of national parks, sanctuaries, wildlife reserves and controlled hunting areas.
There are a number of national and international non-governmental organisations involved in the conservation, management and development of protected areas. IUCN and WWF have been involved in conservation efforts and projects in support of the country's national parks on an intermittent basis since 1966.
There are a number of constraints to protected areas management. The NRCDMD is in need of a strong and properly trained staff for the overall planning, monitoring, evaluation and coordination of management activities at the national level
Resources have been directed to the development of national parks and sanctuaries, which, in practice, are treated almost equally, since sanctuaries are set up to conserve threatened wildlife taxon and the production of harvestable animals is not permitted. While still more or less recognized, wildlife reserves and controlled hunting areas exist on paper only. While Gambella National Park has virtually ceased to exist as a conservation area, Yavello Sanctuary has been taken over for a livestock project, and Bale Mountains National Park has suffered from uncoordinated development in and near its boundaries. Further, Simen Mountains National Park is listed as threatened by the IUCN Commission on National Parks and Protected Areas.
Sources: UNEP-WCMC, World Database on Protected Areas