Million Belay

Founder of MELCA - Ethiopia and Co-ordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa, Million Belay is an expert and advocate for forestry conservation, indigenous livelihoods and food and seed sovereignty. MELCA-Ethiopia was created as an indigenous NGO working on agro-ecology, intergenerational learning, conservation of forests and improving the livelihood of local communities and indigenous peoples.

He also played a significant part in the establishment and activities of the Africa Biodiversity Network (ABN), and is a co-founder and coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), a network of networks that advocates for seed and food sovereignty, as well as promoting agroecology and supporting the rights of local communities and indigenous peoples to their land. In addition to these topics, he is interested in knowledge dialogues and the use of participatory mapping for social learning, identity building and mobilization of memory.

Million is also working to integrate resilience thinking into national, regional and global policies. This includes exploring resilience assessment methodologies that help communities in their adaptive strategies to social and ecological change. He won the National Green Hero Award for both Ethiopia and Addis Ababa, the capital city, in 2008. He was also a nominee to the International Forest Hero Award in 2011. He has a PhD in Education, an MSc. in Tourism and Conservation, and a BSc. in Biology.