The study site in Ethiopia reflects a landscape with a diversity of land uses and a wide range of supply and demand for ecosystem services.
The Halaba watershed site (ca. 100 km2) is typical of the region with a diverse landscape of cropped land (including teff, maize, potatoes, beans, pearl millet, etc), livestock grazed areas, woodlands/plantations and degraded areas with the Bilate River bisecting the area.
Halaba Special Woreda is one of the fourteen zones, four Special Woredas and one city administration of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regional State (SNNPRS).
Halaba Special woreda is one of the few special woredas in the region and enjoys a special privilege of self-administration, and its accountability is directly to the regional administration. The population of the Halaba woreda was 288,000 (2011). Of this, 88% are rural, 49.5% are females and 50.5% are males. Economically active population of the woreda (15-55 years of age) are 44%, of which, 54% are male and 46% are female. Ethnically, there are about 6 major groups in the woreda, but Halaba are dominant, constituting about 80% of the total population.
Halaba woreda is classified as dry weina dega. Altitude ranges from 1700 to 2149 masl. The area receives a bimodal rainfall with a short rainy season between March and April and longer rains between July and September. Annual rainfall varies from 857 to 1085mm, while the annual mean temperatures also vary from 17 to 25 C. Agriculture is the main economic activity in the area and major crops include maize, teff, wheat, pepper, common bean, sorghum and finger millet.
ALTER will be working in three primary kebeles (Lay Arsho, Asore, Andegna Choroko) and two additional subsidiary kebeles (Shakate, and Wanaja) within Halaba special Woreda.