Assessing Nature’s Contributions to People by Jefoure roads for Sustainable Management in the Gurage Socio-Ecological Production Landscape of Ethiopia

Volume (Issue): 13(7)

“Jefoure” refers to a traditional grass-covered road with households settled on both sides in the Gurage socio-ecological production landscape in Ethiopia. We assess Nature’s Contributions to People (NCP) on Jefoure roads for sustainable management. Data were collected using survey tools and orthophoto images, and they were systematically analyzed using qualitative and quantitative methods. The Jefoure roads are beyond transport networks and enhance the people’s quality of life. We identified 12 contributions of Jefoure roads from the reporting categories of material, nonmaterial, and regulating NCP. Over time, the contributions of the roads at different localities decreased due to socio-economic, cultural, and religious changes. Recent trends in infrastructural provisions cause the degradation of Jefoure roads and lead to a decrease in their value. Therefore, sustainable landscape planning and management are essential to preserve and enhance the positive NCP. This study indicates that roads do not solely generate negative ecological impacts, and planners need to work on designing versatile roads, particularly in landscapes where traffic flows are low. Indigenous knowledge has a significant role in bridging the past and future and needs to be integrated into landscape planning and management.