Blog  - Submitted by GUANG Z. CHEN - The highlands of Ethiopia, especially Tigray, were notorious for their severely degraded land. High population density, unchanged agricultural practices, climate change, the steep topography and intermittent and extreme rainfalls are the main causes of land degradation in the area.

This is alarming because natural resources provide vital services to peoples’ well-being including food and water security, livelihoods, and resilience against shocks from and natural disasters.  Land degradation, in the form of erosion and nutrient depletion, is a major strain on Ethiopia’s agricultural productivity, leading to persistent food insecurity and rural poverty.

I recently had the opportunity to visit Tigray region. Because it is still the rainy season, the rugged terrain along the road from Mekelle to Raya-Azebo and Endamehoni woredas (districts) is hidden beneath green grass. If I hadn’t seen its true nature during the dry season, I would have argued that the land is as fertile as that of southern parts of Ethiopia. (Read full blog on World Bank page)