Tree Foundation teamed up with leading global research and acadmeic instituions to launch a collaborative research project on the impact of climate change on Lake Tana and the Blue Nile region in Ethiopia. The project will, specifically, investigate The impact of climate driven water variability on three political economies, namely; rain-fed agriculture, irrigated agriculture and hydro power generation.

The research team consists of experts drawn from social and natural science disciplines working at University of Connecticut(UCONN), University of Nebraska-Lincholn (UNL), University of Edinbrough (UEDO), University of Denver (DU), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA/NSSL), Oklhanoma State University (OU), Addis Ababa University (AAU), Boston University (BU), Korea Economic Institute(KEI) and United States Geological Survey (USGS). The project has already been preselected by NSF/PIRE and submisison of full proposal invited.

Along this line,the first workshop was held from March 12-13 at UCONN, Storrs, CT to refine research methodlogy, set project proposal deadline and duration of the project. Following an engaging discussion and cross fertilization of ideas, the workshop was concluded reaching to a consunsus to meet the May 2012 proposal submission deadline. If the project is approved, the 5 year project will commence in 2014 and researchers will start data collection in summer season of the same year.

In these global research partnership scientists as well as students get involved and expected to gain considerable expriential learning and implement their findings to develop regorous policy support tool that is helpful in improving the livlihood and wellbing of the communities in the Blue Nile area.

Tree Foundation has already launched “Saving Ethiopian Orthodox Church Forests Project” in the prposed project area and welcomes this global collaborative research partnership and seizes the opportunity to fulfill its mission in the area of Research, Education and exploration.

By Worku Mulat, PhD, Tree Foundation Research Associate