Promoting ecotourism through the protection of the environment can improve the livelihood of the local community and used as a tool for participatory biodiversity conservation. Ecotourism can help to create jobs for local community and market for local products where by contributing to sustainable conservation of natural resources. The main objective of this study is to assess the opportunities and challenges of Borena-Saynt National Park for the development of community-based ecotourism that enables to diversify the livelihood of the people and for sustainable natural resource management. Social survey research methodologies were adopted to assess essential data and analyzed qualitatively. The result showed that, a combination of wonderful scenery, diversified wildlife and plant species, amazing caves and culture of the local community makes Borena-Saynt National Park potentially rich for the development of ecotourism. Land degradation, shortage of animal forage and grazing land, low fertility of the soil, scarcity of cultivable land and absences of off-farm activities are among the critical socio-economic problems of the local community that pose pressure on the park. Development of ecotourism program, diversifying the livelihood of the local community, introducing alternative sources of energy, launching afforestation on the buffer zone, animal forage development will help for sustainable natural resource management of the park by improving the well-being of the local community.
Key words: Ecotourism resources, land degradation, Community participation, Borena-Saynt national park