The programme, entitled ‘Wisdom at the source of the Blue Nile: Bahir Dar University spearheads Climate Resilient Green Economy research in northwest Ethiopia‘ focuses on research, innovation, education, and extension of the cooperation results in the Upper Blue Nile basin (the Tana-Beles area) and contributes directly to the objectives of the Ethiopian ‘climate-resilient green economy strategy’.
The focal areas of this programme and the specific projects are in line with the VLIR-UOS country strategy. Project 1 focuses on institutional capacity building through addressing issues related to ICT, library, laboratory, gender, extension and English language skills. Project 2 aims at strengthen-ing knowledge on present and past land degradation processes and ecosystem functioning. Through capacity building and the involvement of stakeholders, the project ultimately aims to improve food security and ecosystems functioning for better livelihoods. Project 3 addresses surface-groundwater dynamics and the understanding of impacts on the hydro-system of the water resources development projects, and aims to contribute for a better agricul-tural water management in the Tana-Beles basin. Project 4 aims at increasing the productivity of apple and reducing postharvest losses of vegetables (onion, tomato and potato) and fruits (mango) in northwest Ethiopia. This will be achieved through human and infrastructure capacity building, optimizing the value chain of produces and dissemina-tion of the acquired knowledge. The aim of project 5 is to increase the research capacity of BDU in order to assess the ecological status and water quality of Lake Tana and its tributary rivers, to monitor the occurrence of waterborne diseases, to study the ecology of its wet-lands and fish, and to deliver the scientific data to underpin a sustainable management plan of the lake’s resources, because Lake Tana UNESCO Biosphere Reserve plays a central role in the food-energy-environment nexus in Ethiopia and is of immense value as cultural heritage site and hotspot of biodiver-sity. Project 6 deals with socioeconomic aspects and is needed to understand and to find scientific solutions to the food security, environment management and livelihood problems in NWE. The project will also contribute to an improved understanding of environmental issues including socioeconomic impact of dams, land deals, animal feeding, geotourism and migration.