Traditional Oromo Attitudes Towards the Environment: An Argument for Environmentally Sound Development

“This paper explores traditional Oromo attitudes towards the environment and their
impact on rural development, environmental protection and modern environmental ethics. Its major findings are that environment has always been the fundamental concern of the rural people. The Oromo people possess accumulated practical knowledge of their environment through experience and productive activity. They have developed complex systems of agriculture and intensive soil, water, vegetation and wildlife management that have survived the test of time and the vagaries of environment. They have used various sustainable methods which enable them to secure food, income, employment and social welfare, diversifi-cation of crops and preservation of animals and crops species. Moreover the Oromo people believe that the natural environment and human beings are linked together in a web of relationships. The samples of Oromo indigenous environmental knowledge indicate that although it has limitations the dialogue between indigenous and modern knowledge may serve as the basis of constructive borrowing to promote
environmentally and socially sound development.”