12 August 2005

Ethiopia: Activities Underway to Designate Alatish Natural Forest As National Park

Bahir Dar — The Amhara State Parks Development and Protection Authority said activities are underway to designate the Alatish Natural Forest in Kuara Woreda of North Gondar Zone as a national park.

Authority General Manager, Mulugeta Wubshet, told WIC yesterday that detailed studies that would enable to mark the bounderies of the Alatish Natural Forest near the Ethio-Sudan border are finalized.

Preserving the area in a sustainable way was deemed necessary after a study revealed that the natural resources in the forest were endangered, he said, adding that it would now be preserved as a tourist attraction as well.

The area has been used for grazing for many years, he said, adding that hunting was also commonly practiced by pastoralists coming from the Sudan. Over 10,000 cattle daily invade the forest depleting its resources, he stated.

The general manager also said wild animals are migrating to the Dindir Park in the Sudan fleeing from fires created by the dwellers.

A study group from the authority, the Addis Ababa University, the State's Environment Protection and Land Administration Authority has presented their findings, Mulugeta added.

According to the study which covered a quarter of the total area of the forest, there are 32 types of mammals, more than 180 varieties of birds, 12 reptiles, and various kinds of plants in Alatish Natural Forest.

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