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New project in development geography: The food-energy-water nexus in the Blue Nile Mountains of Ethiopia

 P1140702_crop.jpgThe department of development geography launched a new research project for the years 2017-2019 with support of the DFG and the Belmont Forum as part of the program “Mountains as sentinels of change. The mountains of Ethiopia are often called the "water tower of Africa," giving rise to major transboundary rivers. Rapid hydropower development in these mountains is quickly transforming them into the "power plant of Africa" as well. Under changing climate, rapid national economic growth, and steadily increasing population and land pressures, these mountains and their inhabitants have become the focal point of a multi-scale food-energy-water nexus with significant implications across East Africa. The core objective of the study is to identify emerging pressures in this rapidly changing tropical mountain system. The research team is composed of researchers from Ethiopia, Germany, USA and Italy with expertise in social-ecological systems analysis, livelihoods risks and social resilience strategies, East African ecology and agronomy, hydropower development, agricultural economics, and the climate and hydrology of the Ethiopian highlands. The approach will yield new insights on adaptation strategies in tropical mountain environments. The livelihood risks and adaptation component of the project is led by Professor Detlef Müller-Mahn with an assistance from postdoctoral fellow, Dr. Million Gebreyes. This research component uses case study based qualitative research approaches, which are carried out together with a number of PhD and Master students from Addis Ababa and Bahir Dar University.