Land use and land cover changes are an all-time phenomena. Its dramatic increasing rate since the near past centuries imply a generational cost of sustainability. Thus, this article synthesizes different literatures and provides information that could be useful for understanding trends of land use and land cover change with its associated major drivers and effects on forest biodiversity in Ethiopia. Once, 40 percent of Ethiopian land was covered by forest. Later the figure declined below three percent with a loss of 150,000 to 200,000 hectare of natural forest per annum. The recent estimation reported 11.2 percent (12,296,000 ha) with 0.93 percent (140,900 ha) of deforestation rate per year between 1990 and 2010 due to conversion to croplands, grazing lands, open, settlements areas and wood extraction. Since anthropogenic drivers are recognized as responsible for this change, they are categorized as proximate and underlying drivers. As the consequence of the observed land use/land cover changes, Ethiopia has been facing high rates of land degradation, habitat loss, hydrologic system destruction, environmental pollution, encroachment of invasive alien species, and change in climatic condition. As a result, many wild animals and plants have been put under severe threat, in terms of either their existence or their ability to function for survival. As a future task, analysis of existing environmental, forest and biodiversity conservation related policies, legal and institutions at different levels are important in order to identify their gaps in governing socio-ecological aspects of the landscapes for sustainability.
Keywords: Anthropogenic effects, Climate change, Drivers of land use and changes, Ecosystem modification, Land exploitation, Population growth effects