Towards a Sustainable Bioeconomy: A Scenario Analysis for the Jimma Coffee Landscape in Ethiopia

There is increasing recognition of the need to consider teleconnections – long-distance connections between people and ecosystems caused via both direct and indirect consequences of trade flows – in relation to the provision and appropriation of ecosystem services. Within the context of an increasingly teleconnected world, changing relationships between ecosystems and human well-being emerge as new research priorities. For example, there is a need to better disentangle who benefits, and in which ways, from changing land use systems.

The overarching goal of this project is to identify environmental and socioeconomic outcomes of ecosystem service flows in an increasingly teleconnected bioeconomy in the Global South. The case study location, Jimma zone in southwestern Ethiopia, is a biodiversity hotspot where local people are heavily dependent on the landscape to provide essential ecosystem services. However, the landscape also provides services of global importance, and is becoming more teleconnected. Both internal and external drivers are altering the social-ecological trajectories of the region.

The project – building on an ERC-funded, five-year research project in Jimma zone (“Identifying Social-Ecological System Properties Benefiting Biodiversity and Food Security – SESyP”) — works with local stakeholders to investigate the social-ecological consequences of different development trajectories. Research is centered around the exploration of four scenarios with differing social-ecological conditions in southwestern Ethiopia for 2040.

Specific objectives are: (1) to map biodiversity and ecosystem services in rural southwestern Ethiopian landscapes under four future scenarios; (2) to identify the beneficiaries of value flows of ecosystem services generated under the different scenarios; (3) to understand power influences of different stakeholders on local ecosystems and value flows under the different scenarios; and (4) to make insights relevant and applicable for local landscape management through the integration of stakeholders in the scenario analysis.

Ethiopia ©ETH Coffee
Ethiopia ©ETH Coffee
Ethiopia ©ETH Coffee


3 years (2019-2022)


Project Lead

  • Prof. Dr. Jörn Fischer
  • Prof. Dr. David Abson
  • Dr. Jannik Schultner

Postdoc and PhDs

  • Dr. Tolera Senbeto Jiren
  • Dula Wakassa Duguma
  • Maria Brück


This project is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).