Where We Work:

Simien Mountains

Our comprehensive landscape-level approach treats problems as opportunities for innovative conservation solutions that strengthen Simien Mountains communities.

These include:

  • Providing direct benefits for communities through cash-for-work landscape restoration, supporting foraging and horticulture, and establishing livelihood alternatives 
  • Fulfilling tourism potential through planning, infrastructure development, and small-business development
  • Strengthening park management by collaborating with stakeholders, facilitating grazing reduction, and enhancing wildlife protection
  • Developing eco-monitoring systems through training, tracking tools, and spatial analysis technologies
  • Delivering conservation education and awareness outreach to communities
Simien Mountains

AWF in Action

Empowering future conservationists

To help build a corps of future conservation leaders and strengthen our relationship with the community we rebuilt the dilapidated Adisge Primary School, which now enrolls students in Grades one to eight. This revitalization included solar-panel installation to provide a reliable energy source that also benefits the Adisge community, as well as the construction of teacher residences. (Modern housing helps attract qualified teachers.)

Read about Adisge Primary
Adisge Primary School teacher

An alternative conservation model: cash-for-work

Our sustainable land management program pays community members to rehabilitate damaged forests, build new earth banks, and check dams and contour ridges to prevent soil erosion. During the COVID pandemic, we helped Simien Mountains communities struggling due to tourism closures by starting a cash-for-work program. In return for cash, participants helped to restore park trails, clean campsites, and remove invasive species.

Read about our COVID response
Community members participating in cash for work program

Bolstering wildlife law enforcement

In Addis Ababa, we hold workshops to educate officers, prosecutors, and judges about wildlife crime laws through our wildlife judicial and prosecutorial assistance training program. We also provide training to help officials investigate crimes, work crime scenes, store and manage evidence, and testify effectively in court. Additionally, we monitor court case trends and support wildlife authorities in deploying canine detection units to help intercept illegal wildlife products at key transit hubs.

Learn more
Wildlife law enforcement workshop

Building capacity in fire management

Ethiopia has suffered severe wildfires in recent years. To help manage the threat in the Simien Mountains, we partnered with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority to develop a fire management strategy, provide park managers with technical skills and fire-control equipment, increase ranger patrols, implement a satellite-based fire-detection system, and raise community awareness about wildfires. Hundreds of rangers and community members have been trained as part of this project.

Learn more about our work here
Fire management in Ethiopia

We work with the people of Ethiopia for wildlife. Our strategic, implementing and funding partners include:

Communities in the Simien Mountains landscape

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Somali Regional State

Simien Mountains National Park

International Fund for Animal Welfare



Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme

Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority

Environmental Crime Unit

Austrian Development Cooperation

Wildlife We Are Protecting

Ethiopian Wolf

We’re supporting and monitoring populations of Ethiopian wolves in the Simien Mountains landscape. Other species that benefit from our conservation interventions in this landscape include the Walia Ibex, gelada baboons, colobus monkey, klipspringer, and Menelik bushbuck.

Brian May


Brian May

Landscape Director