MELCA Ethiopia (Movement for Ecological Learning and Community Action) was founded in 2004 by a group ofenvironmental practitioners and lawyers. The organisation arose out of their shared concern about the erosion and destruction of biodiversity and culture in Ethiopia.
The word 'melca' means ‘ford’ in the Amharic and Oromo languages. It is a crossing point on a river, and is used symbolically to indicate the need to take people to a greater understanding and appreciation of traditional ecological knowledge.
MELCA aims to work for the revival and enhancement of traditional ecological knowledge and to protect the rights of communities to the same in Ethiopia. This involves research on policies, legislation and initiatives that affect culture and ecology relationships; advocacy and campaigning on community rights and the safeguarding of traditional ecological knowledge; capacity building and in-depth training through experiential learning, to educate youth and other change agents; and raising public awareness on culture, biodiversity and development issues, including culture and biodiversity celebrations.
It currently works with local communities, elders, schools and youth in the Sheka Forest region in southeast Ethiopia, the Bale Mountains National Park, and Menagesha Suba forest near to Addis Ababa. MELCA is also a regional node for the African Biodiversity Network.
You can view photos of Melca's work in the Sheka forest region of Ethiopia here.
Watch the NEW and inspiring film The Sheka Forest Story: Wisdom from the Past, Resilience for the Future here.
Contact: Million Belay
Address: Melca Mahiber, PO Box 1519 Code 1250, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Tel: +251 11 550 71 72; +251 11 554 45 54; +251 911 40 24 03
Fax: +251 11 554 45 56
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