Scholar nominated for the BOKU Sustainability Award

17. April 2019
A woman standing in front of a large poster on a wall. The title on the poster reads "BOKU Nachhaltigkeitspreis - Licht der Zukunft - Nominierungen 2019"
We congratulate our scholarship holder Ayelech Kidie Mengesha, who was nominated with three other students for this award. Her research focused on the impact of rural land certification on household decision to plant trees and women’s rights to trees: The case of Gozamen district, Ethiopia.

Ayelech Kidie Mengesha talked about her work during the BOKU sustainability day. The presentation was held in a Pecha Kucha presentation (20X20) style and it is going to be published on YouTube soon. The main focus of her presentation is sustainable agroforestry development through land tenure security and gender equality. It focuses on how access to land (basic socio-economic asset) and its tenure security are basic to sustainable land management practices and rural livelihood development. It argues that land certification has a positive impact on sustainable agroforestry development. Moreover, land certification has a great contribution to women’s land tenure security and tree planting decisions as women were marginalized group – who had no right to land. Therefore, women’s land right is a crucial factor for poverty reduction and maintaining sustainable development. Generally, land registration and certification in Ethiopia is an essential success factor in improving land security and contributes to sustainable agroforestry development.

The key message of the presentation is land tenure security is a key pathway to implement the sustainable development goals (SDGs) such as no poverty (SDG 1), zero hunger (SDG 2), good health and wellbeing (SDG 3), quality education (SDG 4), gender equality (SDG 5), clean water and sanitation (SDG 6), decent work and economic growth (SDG 8), climate action (SDG 13), life on land (SDG 15), and peace justice and strong institutions (SDGs 16). Thus, land tenure security is an entry point for the development of the poor.

Ayelech Kidie Mengesha is a PhD candidate at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU). The working title of her PhD thesis is appraisement of the effects of land registration program on the wellbeing of rural households in East Gojjam Zone, Ethiopia. Before she joined BOKU, she has worked at Debre Markos University, Ethiopia since September 2010 as a lecturer. She has also served as the head of Rural Development department for nine months. Ayelech has taught many courses related to rural development and gender; for example, Gender and Development, Agricultural Knowledge and Innovation System (AKIS), Rural Sociology and Agricultural Extension, Environment and Sustainable Development, Sustainable Development and Rural Livelihoods. Ayelech has an MSc degree in Rural Development from Hawasa University, Ethiopia. In February 2019 she completed the Master’s Programme in Mountain Forestry at BOKU. She got an excellent grade on her thesis.