Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Cillimo (Chilimo) was another site of fierce ‪#‎OromoProtests‬ today.
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Chilimo forest is in Western Showa Zone close to Ghinchi town, Capital of Dendi District, and 90 km west of Addis Ababa. This area is at the western end of a chain of hills and ridges that stretches 200 km from north of Addis Ababa westwards up to the Ghedo Highlands. River valleys and gorges cut through the hills. Chilimo forest is one of the few remnants of dry Afro-Montana forest that remain on Ethiopian Central Plateau. The vegetation throughout this area has been subject to human impact for over 2,000 years (longer than in any other East African country), and the rate of deforestation has been extremely high, with significant changes in forest cover observed even since the 1970s. The forest is Montanan mixed broad-leaf–coniferous, although conifers predominate. The main species in the canopy are Junipers proc era, Metacarpus falcatus, Prunes African, Ola Europa cuspid, Apostates dimidiata and Ficus spp. Historically, this entire upland area is thought to have been covered by Juniperus–Podocarpus forest, but most of the forest has been cleared for agriculture, and this encroachment continues. Selective cutting of trees for commercial use stopped about 1973, but illegal cutting by the local people continues. Various types of shrubland now dominate the landscape. The forest is important to local people for grazing their animals. A few shrub species dominate, such as Myrsine African, with others like Maytenus arbutifolia and Rubus apetalus abundant indicators of forest disturbance. Small patches of plantation forests, initiated by the Forestry Department of the State in 1976, are present within the forested lands. Indigenous and exotic species are used, the main exotic species being Eucalyptus saligna, E. camaldulensis, Pincus spatula and Acupressure Lusitania, with indigenous ones including Junipers procera, Hagenia Abyssinian and Podocarpus falcatus. Chilimo forest is threatened by excessive exploitation and conversion to other land-uses.

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