Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD)
ISD is a local charity organization with over 20 years of experience on promoting unique thematic areas with nature pertinent to healthy co-existence of people and environment in some areas in Ethiopia. ISD was set up in 1996 to work with local rural communities and the Bureau of Agriculture in Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia. The mission was to find out if a community-based ecological approach could both rehabilitate the land and improve crop production of poor smallholder farmers with special emphasis on women-headed households through the application of ecological principles. This ‘Tigray Project’ motivated local communities to develop by-laws to protect their own interests including use of their local agricultural knowledge and biodiversity, make and use compost, apply biological and physical soil and water conservation measures, control the movement of grazing livestock, and thus improve the lives of their members, particularly women. Lessons learnt from the ‘Tigray Project’, in limited project areas, provided the base for ISD’s current Ecological Agriculture Program that has been both expanded in Tigray and extended from Tigray to Amhara (South Wollo Zone), Oromia (East Shewa Zone) and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regions (Arba Minch Zuria in Gamu zone, Durame in Hadiya Special zone) and Holetta and Wolisso in West Oromia zone).