The Sheka Forest Biosphere Reserve (SFBR)
The Sheka Forest Biosphere Reserve Area (SFBR) is located in Western and South Western part of the region and the country, respectively, in Sheka Zone. It is situated as latitude: 706’24”N-7053’14”N and Longitude: 3505’48”E -35044’11”E /with the central point: 7033’50.11”N-35 024’12.7”E/.
The (SFBR) is part of the South west Highlands Forests of Ethiopia. It has important contribution for the conservation of Afro montane forest vegetation types, particularly the Aforomontanae Rainforest and Alpine Bamboo thickets. The Afromontane Forest Vegetation has long been considered on the most threatened eco-regions in the World.
The SFBR constitutes a total of 131, 640 hectares of land of which 4% is designated as core zone The Forest has pronounced fauna and flra diversity with over 300 higher plants, 50mammals, 200 birds, and plant,50 mammals , 200 birds, and 20 Amphibian species occurring in all habitat types within the biosphere reserve.
There are also many endemic species, at least 55 plants and 10 birds and 38 threatened species of flora and fauna. The people of Sheka have not only strong but also intrinsic and spiritual connection with the forest. They make the livelihood majorly from the wild honey they produced in the forest. They have customary forest management associated with beekeeping which is called kobbo. It is forest management in which members of the community own part of the forest to use it only for hanging beehives and collecting of spices, which doesn’t deter the sustainable existence of the species.
The biosphere reserve provides a variety of unique tourist attractions local community’s indigenous knowledge on forest management and non-timber forest products harvesting, and it also has caves, waterfalls, mountain lakes and wetlands. One can also get eco friendly produced and organic spices and honey from the area.
Sheka Forest Biosphere Reserve