Smallholder livelihoods play an important role in evaluating land degradation
The wetlands are part of the complex coastal zone of Lake Tana, which lies just outside the top of the image. Individual fields and angular margins at the floodplain are indicative of the human use and modification of the wetlands. The Gilgel Abbay River is lined with very narrow fields that give the greatest number of farmers access to the water.
Forests occupy parts of the wetlands; they also stand on a few patches of higher ground, such as the hill in the centre of the image and five small circular patches dispersed among the fields. Some of these forests surround monasteries that are characteristic of the region.
The relatively high rainfall in the Ethiopian Highlands makes the region suitable for growing coffee, oilseeds, and grains (especially subsistence crops such as wheat and sorghum). However, a recent years-long drought is threatening Ethiopia’s food supply."