Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD)

Local nongovernmental / non-profit organization

Institute for Sustainable Development (ISD) is a registered Ethiopian residents’ civil society organization which has started its work in 1996 in Tigray Region, northern Ethiopia, to find out if a community-based ecological approach could both rehabilitate the land and improve crop production of poor smallholder farmers with special emphasis on women-headed households through the application of ecological principles. This project motivated local communities to develop by-laws to protect their own interests based on environment conservation-based natural resource and agricultural development. The project provided the base for ISD’s current Ecological Agriculture Program that has been expanded in Tigray and extended to other three regions: Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Regions. Households that have taken up agro-ecology as their main means of production system are generally food secure, they are also innovative and diversify their production base. Since 1998, ISD has also started working with environmental clubs in schools and self-organized out-of-school youth groups focused on the link between cultural diversity and biodiversity. It is to raise the youth’s appreciation of indigenous knowledge for sustainable livelihoods and a better future. ISD engagement in projects is to achieve its vision: “to contribute towards an Ethiopia that is free from hunger and poverty by combining the best in modern and traditional knowledge, practices and innovations”. To realize this, ISD’s ethical values are respect the knowledge, practices and cultures of local communities with regard to natural resources management and learn each other, believe in equity and solidarity, sensitive to gender mainstreaming, provide an equal opportunity in employment, no discrimination due sex and religion.

Belay Ghebremedhin