Social and Ecological System Dynamics

Characteristics, Trends, and Integration in the Lake Tana Basin, Ethiopia

  • Krystyna Stave
  • Goraw Goshu
  • Shimelis Aynalem

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Overview

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Baylie Damtie, Emily Boersma, Krystyna Stave
      Pages 3-8
    3. Goraw Goshu, Shimelis Aynalem
      Pages 9-23
  3. Ecosystem Characteristics

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 49-49
    2. Wubneh Belete Abebe, Tesfahun G/Michael, Elias Sime Leggesse, Biaznelign S. Beyene, Fenta Nigate
      Pages 51-58
    3. Fenta Nigate, Tenalem Ayenew, Wubneh Belete, Kristine Walraevens
      Pages 77-91
    4. Elias Sime Leggesse, Biazenlegn S. Beyene
      Pages 117-126
    5. Goraw Goshu, A. A. Koelmans, J. J. M. de Klein
      Pages 127-141
    6. Ayalew Wondie, Seyoum Mengistu
      Pages 143-156
    7. Abebe Ameha Mengistu, Chalachew Aragaw, Minwyelet Mengist, Goraw Goshu
      Pages 157-177
    8. Shimelis Aynalem
      Pages 179-205
    9. Shimelis Aynalem, Abebe Ameha Mengistu
      Pages 207-230
    10. Shimelis Aynalem, Goraw Goshu, Ayalew Wondie
      Pages 245-256
    11. Alie Seid, Banchiamlak Getenet
      Pages 257-279
  4. Socioeconomic System Characteristics and Land Use

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 281-281
    2. Sewmehon Demissie, Azanaw Abebe
      Pages 293-311
    3. Dessalegn M. Ketema, Nicholas Chisholm, Patrick Enright
      Pages 313-346
    4. Amare Sewnet Minale, Wubneh Belete
      Pages 357-373
    5. Genet Gebreegziabher
      Pages 417-429
  5. Management

  6. Synthesis

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 595-595
    2. Krystyna Stave, Birgit Kopainsky, Mesfin Anteneh, Abebe Ameha Mengistu, Mesenbet Yibeltal Sebhat, Shimelis Aynalem et al.
      Pages 615-630
    3. Goraw Goshu, Shimelis Aynalem, Baylie Damtie, Krystyna Stave
      Pages 631-646
  7. Back Matter
    Pages 647-652

About this book


This book is a social—ecological system description and feedback analysis of the Lake Tana Basin, the headwater catchment of the Upper Blue Nile River. This basin is an important local, national, and international resource, and concern about its sustainable development is growing at many levels. Lake Tana Basin outflows of water, sediments, nutrients, and contaminants affect water that flows downstream in the Blue Nile across international boundaries into the Nile River; the lake and surrounding land have recently been designated a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; the basin has been identified as a key national economic growth corridor in the Ethiopian Growth and Transformation Plan. In spite of the Lake Tana Basin’s importance, there is no comprehensive, integrated, system-wide description of its characteristics and dynamics that can serve as a basis for its sustainable development. This book presents both the social and ecological characteristics of the region and an integrated, system-wide perspective of the feedback links that shape social and ecological change in the basin. Finally, it summarizes key research needs for sustainable development.

The Lake Tana Basin is the most economically, historically, and environmentally important subbasin of the Upper Blue Nile River System. Three million people live in this headwater catchment area, most in rural areas but increasingly migrating to urban settlements, including the cities of Bahir Dar and Gondar. The region is experiencing significant population, economic, ecosystem, and social change. Urbanization, intensification of rural land use, environmental degradation, and climate change are some of the pressures that require research-based management and policy action to protect resources and promote healthy development.

There are many researchers and decision-makers focusing on the region. However, research efforts are fragmented and are often not visible or useful to decision-makers. This book addresses the need for a coordinated approach to understanding and managing this complex social—ecological system.


Ethiopia Lake Tana Basin Upper Blue Nile Ecology Sustainability

Editors and affiliations

  • Krystyna Stave
    • 1
  • Goraw Goshu
    • 2
  • Shimelis Aynalem
    • 3
  1. 1.School of Public Policy and LeadershipUniversity of Nevada Las VegasLas VegasUSA
  2. 2.Blue Nile Water Institute and College of Agriculture and Environmental SciencesBahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia
  3. 3.Blue Nile Water Institute and College of Agriculture and Environmental SciencesBahir Dar UniversityBahir DarEthiopia

Bibliographic information

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