The Lake Tana Sub-basin has a splendid plenty of nature that should be conserved for future generations and not be spoiled. One effort toward its protection is the establishment of The Lake Tana Biosphere Reserve, Ethiopia’s fourth natural heritage site established by UNESCO, after Simien National Park, Lower Valley of the Omo and Lower Valley of the Awash. However trend analysis shows that a significant change is taking place in the climate of the region at the same time that growing population increases pressure for agricultural expansion and development, and industrial activities to meet growing food and energy demands. Although policies exist that could help protect the catchment’s resources, policy gaps, institutional problems and low policy implementation limit policy effectiveness. The major problems in the area can be summarized into three: Firstly, the policies and strategies are too general and do not give adequate direction/guideline to those who are implementing them. Secondly, even when there are laws that could be implemented, there are cases where there are no institutions or capable institutions that implement them. Thirdly, there are overlapping and, sometimes contradicting objectives of different institutions and hence there is little cooperation and coordination among different institutions. These gaps need to be addressed in order to manage and use natural resources in a sustainable manner. This chapter presents the key environmental trends in the region, and reviews vulnerabilities, threats, policies, and environmental protection gaps, in addition to potentially researchable thematic areas.

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