Many of the world’s most innovative and impactful visions spring from shared aims and principles. For Ms. Sue Edwards and Dr. Tewolde Berhan it was no different when they set out on their aim of using ecological principles, sustainable knowledge, practices and innovations to support and improve the livelihoods of local farming communities in Ethiopia. Their journey so far has had an impact on thousands of farming families, schools, and youth groups and has also been documented in numerous publications and research documents. Planting over 600,000 trees and other useful plants has seen the most arid of regions flourish in biodiversity and improve the livelihoods of smallholder farming families.
Born to a smallholder farming family near Adwa, Tigray, on February 19, 1940, Tewolde Berhan completed his undergraduate studies at the Addis Ababa University (AAU) and earned a PhD in plant ecology at the School of Plant Biology at the University of North Wales in November 1969. Ms. Sue, a botanist specializing in taxonomy, was born in Kent, England, on 14 June 1942. Her parents ran a one-hectare family farm producing fruit and vegetables, eggs, chicken, and honey. Sue moved to Ethiopia in 1968 to teach at the biology department where she met Tewolde on his return from Wales.