USAID Launches 8.7 Million USD Project for Biodiversity, Community Resilience in South Omo Zone

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Addis Ababa (ENA) December 14/2022 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has launched Biodiversity and Community Resilience in the Omo Valley (BIOM), a new 8.7 million USD project in the South Omo Zone of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR), according to the US Embassy in Ethiopia.

Over the next five years, BIOM will improve biodiversity, livelihoods, and human rights in Ethiopia’s lower Omo Zone through community-based conservation, ecotourism, livestock production, and political advocacy training, it added.  

The activity will be implemented in partnership with the local government and members of the community, living between the Omo National Park and the Mago National Park.  

This land is being considered for the establishment of a new conservation trust — the Tama Community Conservation Area, the embassy stated.  

USAID’s approach of focusing on both the biodiversity and the people of the Omo Valley recognizes the crucial role of communities as stewards of their own ecosystems.  

The new activity will directly benefit over 2,000 square kilometers of the Tama Community Conservation Area and will engage over 400 households in employment in the conservation area programs and administration, including work in ecotourism lodges, local craft production and sales, and tourism experiences. 

A benefit-sharing system will be established for those 13,500 residents of the area not directly involved.  

According to the embassy, this new project is another example of the cooperation between the American people and the Ethiopian people.  

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