Exploring the Past and the Present: Examining Preservation, Management and Resistance practices in the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia


  • Marshet Girmay Department of History and Heritage Management, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • Endalkachew Teshome Department of Tourism and Hotel Management, University of Gondar, Ethiopia
  • Dawit Yoseph Department of Social Anthropology, University of Gondar, Ethiopia


Biodiversity, Society, Conservation, Simien Mountains National Park, Welfare demands, Sustainability


This study was conducted to explore the dynamic relationship between society and biodiversity in the Simien Mountains National Park (SMNP). As the local communities who inhabited the environs of the SMNP struggle for survival, they have altered the environment, and they caused for biodiversity revival as well. SMNP was exempted from the UNESCO “red list” in 2017 as a result of significant conservation efforts, but intensive grazing and farmland expansions are still affecting the sustainability of the natural environment. In order to alleviate this problem, qualitative research approach with in-depth interview was employed. Similarly, both diachronic and synchronic perspectives were implemented in analyzing changes in continuities as a result of biodiversity-society interaction. Archival documents were also meticulously consulted to corroborate data which were collected in interview. In the SMNP, thus, it is found that the connectedness has persisted for a long time while the nature of relationship has changed as human society evolves in terms of organization, structure and technological innovation. The early years in the origin of the SMNP were characterized by resistance from the local communities due to the attempt to impose unfriendly conservation ethos by the international conservation experts. The nature of biodiversity and society interaction in the SMNP is characterized by reciprocity relationship in which there is mutual affection between the two for many years. The life of the local community is largely dependent on the environment’s ability to provide welfare demands (food, shelter, and clothing). The judicious use of the physical environment’s plentiful resources by people on the other hand is correlated with the sustainability of biodiversity, and it assures community’s’ fundamental source of ongoing existence.




How to Cite

Girmay, M., Teshome, E., & Yoseph, D. (2023). Exploring the Past and the Present: Examining Preservation, Management and Resistance practices in the Simien Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. Ethiopian Renaissance Journal of Social Sciences and the Humanities, 10(2), 73–94. Retrieved from https://erjssh.uog.edu.et/index.php/ERJSSH/article/view/531