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Trees are our backbone: Integrating environment and local development in the Tigray region of Ethiopia

This paper examines the policies and practices of the Ethiopian and Tigray Governments in response to environmental issues in the framework of development, and compares these with endogenous efforts to address these same issues. The differences in perception are highlighted. When the Government tries to integrate environment and development, environment is perceived primarily as something to be protected, although these perceptions are gradually changing. In local perceptions, environment and development are inextricably intertwined. The issue of perception is important, as it influences the nature of dialogue between stakeholders. Divergent perceptions can lead to misunderstandings, miscommunication and disregard of the priorities and insights of key stakeholders. The paper takes a closer look at some good local practices in environmental management, and extracts lessons that could guide environmental policy and its application in Tigray Region.

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