I have worked for over a decade with the Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) in Ethiopia to implement various programs that support sustainable rural livelihoods by helping smallholder farmers and their families improve their productivity through improved natural resources management. The ISD works directly with communities, elders, children and youth, to actively encourage and enable them to revitalize cultural biodiversity practices. My current research builds on this experience by investigating the socio-economic, political and ecological patterns of selected communities in Ethiopia and how they in turn impact social relations. Furthermore it will explore the impact of biocultural diversity learning in local communities and how this might contribute to sustainable environmental education and development at a national scale. Ultimately these research findings will provide fertile ground for informing, teaching and inspiring non-governmental organizations and other stakeholders.
Traditional knowledge and practices are enshrined within principles of coexistence, reciprocity and inter-connectedness of all ‘earth beings’ that are inseparable from their culture and livelihood.
He has completed his PhD and now works as the General Coordinator of African Biodiversity Network (ABN) based in Kenya. [Updated August 2014]
Fassil is working with Silva Materu (2013), Girma Mensuro (2012), Temegsen Olango (2013), and Nickson Otieno (2011) and various GESA resource people to organise the Global Environments Regional Academy – East Africa funded by the Alumni Innovation Fund.