Ethiopia’s Sacred Forests Are Shrinking


Since receiving his forestry degree from Alemaya University of Agriculture in 1992, Wassie has been working to save, restore and expand Ethiopia’s rapidly shrinking church forests. He served as forestry expert at the Ethiopian Ministry of Natural Resources and worked with several nongovernmental organizations before receiving his Ph.D. in forest ecology and management at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. In 2008, Wassie teamed up with Margaret ‘Canopy Meg’ Lowman, director of global initiatives and senior scientist for plant conservation at the California Academy of Sciences, to raise international awareness of the church forests. ‘Dr. Wassie is a true pioneer in every sense of the word — one of a handful of scientists studying Ethiopian forests,’ Lowman tells OZY, calling him ‘a leader in both religious and scientific circles.'”

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