Dr. Meg Lowman continues to work on protecting the ancient forests in Ethiopia. Next month, Dr. Lowman plans to help a women’s monastery build a wall around their forest.
In Ethiopia, churches may hold the key to protecting threatened species.
In the highlands of Ethiopia, California Academy of Sciences ecologist Meg Lowman and local forest ecologist Alemayehu Wassie have formed an unconventional partnership with local churches to protect the biodiversity of the country’s ancient forests.
In 2008, Wassie won an annual student prize from the international scientific society the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation for his work documenting the threatened tree species in Ethiopia, which live in the small patches of forest that surround churches. When Lowman asked him what was next, his worried reply, “I’m the only person in the world working on this,” moved her to form a partnership with him. Lowman, affectionately known as Canopy Meg by friends and colleagues alike, now works with Wassie to safeguard the remaining native forests of Ethiopia, one church at a time.