The project is designed to be implemented at Gumay districts in the Jimma Zone of Oromia Regional State. The district is divided into 14 rural and 1 urban kebeles administration. The total population of the District estimated to be 86,622 with 43,359 males and 43,253 females. Among the total population estimated 10.4% are urban and 89.6% are rural residents. The district is one of the greatest forest landscapes of Ethiopia and Agriculture is the main livelihood option of the community and it is characterized by subsistent and highly degrading natural resources specifically, the forest, soil, and water of the landscape affecting the suitability of the sector.
The project was designed with the general objective to contribute to the government and nongovernmental organizations' efforts of conservation of forests through participatory forest management and promoting environmental-friendly practices for livelihood improvement. To meet the overall objective, strategically linked outcomes; Community-owned forest development management is practiced in four kebeles of Gumay wereda, and Improved and diversified the -friendly livelihood options among 2500 community members (1500 farmers, 1000 women specifically) to reduce deforestation are designed.
The inherent strategies designed to be made use of are well-identified in such ways that the target groups are empowered and their full participation is enhanced to work towards the project goal. More specifically, leading strategies are: Linkage and Networking, capacity building, local resource mobilization, organized effort, and community-based intervention, and target groups centered intervention mechanisms. Utilization of community resources including manpower, indigenous knowledge and skills, revitalization of community structures, ensuring active and self-mobilized community participation, and program ownership are among the strategies identified.
The project is designed to enable the local community to maintain the conservation of their forest landscape inadequate manner in a sustainable development system. Additionally, the project is targeted to enable the address of their social and economic problems by using their existing potential and resources. Throughout the intervention period, 1300 women, 1200 male farmers will be addressed directly. For implementing the project, birr 10,605,270.10 (ten million six hundred and five thousand two hundred seventy birrs and 10 cents) is allocated by the Packard Foundation.