There are few places in Ethiopia — or in the world — like the Forest of Harenna. Spread along the southern slopes of the Bale Mountains, it is the second largest rainforest in Ethiopia and the largest cloud forest in the country.
The NASA Earth Earth’s moderate-resolution imaging spectrometer (MODIS) acquired this natural color image of the forest on February 5, 2021. The forest grows in high areas at elevations of 1400 to 3200 meters. (4,600 to 10,500 feet) above sea level. From the Sanetti Plateau, mostly treeless, a escarpment falls abruptly into a number of altitude-defined forest ecosystems, including areas where bamboo, tree heather, fig trees, fern pines thrive. , hagenia and wild coffee. The wildlife of the forest includes monkeys, baboons, shrubs, warthogs, lions, leopards, hyena and wild dogs.
Although there are dense forests south of the Sanetti Plateau, an analysis of Global Forest Watch forest data indicates that there was significant deforestation along roads and river valleys in Hawo, Kumbi, Likimisa Bokore and Soriba. between 2000 and 2019. The data also show many small-scale forest clearings along the escarpment. The most common causes of deforestation in this area are coal production, firewood collection and clearing for agriculture. The analysis is led by a team of scientists from the University of Maryland and is based on data on tree cover loss collected by Landsat satellites.
Loss of forest cover in this region could affect some distinctive cultural practices. Harenna Forest is one of the few places where people continue to harvest wild arabica beans for coffee. The forest also stands out for being one of the few places where people still practice a traditional beekeeping style that consists of climbing trees to keep beehives cut by hand.
Image from NASA’s Lauren Dauphin Earth Observatory, which uses NASA EOSDIS LANCE and GIBS / Worldview MODIS data. Tale of Adam Voiland.