Botanical garden and eco-tourism
Dilla University Botanical and ecotourism garden was established in May 2017 for the purpose of conservation, education, research and ecotourism. It has been established with the vision of establishing internationally renowned botanical and ecotourism garden, witnessing the flora and heritage richness of Ethiopia and attesting the fact that the country is center of origin for many economic and medicinal plants and patrimonies. The mission of the garden is to rescue threatened flora from extinction, contribute towards conservation and research on biodiversity and sustainable education as well as ecotourism development.
Ethiopia is one of the eight major Vavilov centers of crop and wild genetic diversity and it is one of the most diverse floristic regions in the world and the fifth largest floral diversity in tropical Africa. Today these biologically rich resources of the country are vanishing at an alarming rate. Therefore, Dilla University has established the botanical and eco-tourism garden with the rationale of collecting, conserving, characterizing and promoting these resources
Center for Botanical and Ecotourism Garden aspires to make the garden center for recreation and educational site by taking advantage of its geographical, archeological, biological, cultural and political values. Geographically, the site has different rocks which can be used as site for field trip to teach students, and it also contains engravings and caves for archeologically studies. Moreover, plant and animal biodiversities attract the attentions of researchers and visitors. Politically, it is the border line of three administrative zones (Gujje, Geodo, Sidama) that may give potential advantage to collaborate and to render community service on collecting, conserving and characterizing the endangered plant and animal biodiversities.
The center has been established with the objectives of enhancing biodiversity conservation, cultural heritage, indigenous knowledge and offer a refuge and better security for threatened species, developing ecosystems models, genetic and species diversity; contributing to worldwide plant germplasm conservation efforts. Moreover, the center aims to carryout research on diverse species interaction, ecological dynamics, vegetation-climate change relations, cultural heritage and indigenous knowledge and assist socio-economic development at different levels. It also aims to develop international standard model of eco-friendly recreational facilities that would constitute one of the tourist attractions of the country. Last but not least, the center aims to provide environmental education for sustainable development by streamlining with special attention to nature and cultural heritage.
From the total estimated area (more than 100ha) of the garden currently about 30ha of it is enclosed with temporally fence and different activities started inside it.
The major on going activities of the garden are
- infrastructure(water, road, electric ext) establishment
- it give job opportunity for 70 labors
- live collection, conservation and identification; until now 360 plants were identified and scientific garden(conservation and display area) is established.
- two green recreation area are almost finalized and they are open for public
- child garden establishment(20%), its aim is to give awareness (on nature) for Childs
In the future the following major activities will be the focus area of the garden
- laboratory establishment to run experimental research on collected and conserved plants
- science café establishment for the purpose of two way communication(scholar to community and community to scholar information)
- green reading area preparation(Open library)
- rehabilitation and reforestation of additional border area of the garden(at Sidama zone and Guji zone side)
- To make Collaboration and Cooperation to local and international stakeholders based on the objectives the garden
- Job opportunity and enterprise development