Government of Ethiopia and World Bank Sign US$18 Million Grant Agreement for Improving the enabling environment for sustainable forest management and investment in Oromia National Regional State

A Grant Agreement amounting to US$18 million was signed on Thursday 23 March 2017 between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the World Bank at a ceremony held at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC).

According to the Grant Agreement, the World Bank will support the implementation of Oromia National Regional State Forested Landscape Program (OFLP) through promoting an enabling investment and an environment for sustainable forest management across Ethiopia’s largest regional state. The grant agreement was signed by H.E. Ato Admasu Nebebe, State Minister of MoFEC, and Mrs. Carolyn Truck, World Bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan.

The OFLP would be Oromia National Regional State’s strategic programmatic umbrella and coordination platform for multi-sector, multi-partner interventions on all forested landscapes in Oromia. The program aims to improve land-use across multiple sectors in Oromia National Regional State to deliver on goals on economic growth, poverty reduction, jobs, food and water security, biodiversity conservation, forest protection and expansion, and climate change adaptation and mitigation. It contributes to key national strategies, including the Growth and Transformation Plan II, the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Strategy, the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC), the emerging National Forest Sector Strategy and National REDD+ Strategy, as well as sector strategies for energy, water, and agriculture.

The US$18 million grant is a Trust Fund that will be channeled to the GoE as a recipient executed grant over the coming five-years. The grant will be channeled to relevant implementing agencies in Oromia through the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFCC) to implement varies integrated landscape management interventions across Oromia National Regional State. The grant funding will pave the ways for result based payments of up to US$50 million as they are delivered in a period of up to ten-years. The upcoming Emission Reduction Purchase Agreement (ERPA) to be signed between the GoE and the World Bank will define the modality of such payments. As the program involves a carbon financing operation, results will be delivered if the net emissions from the forest sector in Oromia (measured in tCO2e) is below an agreed Forest Reference Emission Level. The payments will be channeled to the local communities dwelling in the vicinity of forests to incentive community forest stewardship.

Ethiopia’s Growth Enabling to Implement Climate Resilient, Green Development Strategy: Professor Sterner

Addis Ababa April 25/2017 The rapid economic growth in Ethiopia can create good opportunity and enabling situation in implementing its climate resilient and green development strategy, according to Professor Thomas Sterner of University of Gothenburg and Former Chief Economist of Environment Defense Fund (EDF).

Professor Thomas Sterner made the remark in his keynote address to the first Annual Conference on Ethiopia’s Green Development Path that opened today.

The country’s trade and FDI dramatic growth is conducive for industrialization as well as the development of renewable energy potentials such as solar, hydro, and wind, the professor said.

Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change  Minister, Dr. Gemedo Dale, told reporters that Ethiopia is on the right track since all sectors have been mainstreamed with the Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy and structure for implementing have been put in place.

In this regard, everybody believes that the nation is growing vastly but also following green and clean path as a result of the top leadership’s commitment.

The conference underway would have significant contributions towards bridging the gap between policy and implementation on the one hand and research on the other, the minister said.

The conference will also discuss research and analysis on key issues while a number of studies on institutions are also expected to be presented, he added.

Environment and Climate Research Center Director, Dr. Haileselassie Medhin said this conference will bring out the latest evidences on how Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient and Green Development Agenda can be implemented.

Ethiopian is practicing a very integrated comprehensive green development strategy which many countries do not have. So this is a key success by itself, the director stated.

Source: ENA

Light Rail Transit Brings Honor to Addis

Addis Ababa April 21/2017 The Light Rail Transit (LRT) of Addis Ababa has brought honor to City of Addis Ababa as it introduces carbon neutral transportation system.

Addis Ababa has received the C40 Cities Award, in the category of transportation, because of the light rail transit, with the projected cumulative emission reduction potential of 1.8 million tCO2e by 2030.

It was in December that the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group announced that Addis Ababa is among the 10 cities that won the awards provided in 10 various categories.

City Mayor Diriba Kuma has received the award on Thursday in Addis Ababa from C40 Regional Director for Africa, Hasting Chikako.

The Regional Director during the occasion said the City has won the award for the efforts it has made to reducing carbon emissions in the transportation sector particularly in railway transport.

He said Addis Ababa has honored because of the commitment, excellence and innovation demonstrated by the city and the Ethiopian Railway Corporation through the implementation of the light rail transit system.

He indicated that the Awards are aimed at ensuring that cities that are demonstrating true leadership in addressing climate change are globally recognized.

In this regard, Addis Ababa has demonstrated a great commitment to green growth by giving a priority to the environment, he said.

“A number of cities from Africa including Johannesburg, Accra and Cape Town participated but only Addis Ababa managed to bring the award to Africa”, he said.

Mayor Deriba Kuma on his part said the light rail transit is at the forefront of championing low carbon transport system for Addis Ababa.

It is the only viable project to be operational in Sub-Saharan Africa providing a greater benefit for the city, he said.

Addis Ababa was honored with the award from among more than 100 cities in the entire world that competed last September. Source ENA

Sweden Supporting Development of Ethiopia’s Forestry Resource

Addis Ababa February 25/2017 Sweden is committed to supporting the development of Ethiopia’s forestry resource which contributes to the livelihood of communities and to mitigate climate change.

Ethiopia has been working to increase its forest coverage to 30 percent in the coming 15 years.

Forest resources are significant for the nation’s economy, environment, biodiversity and the ecosystem as well as the well being of people.

Over the past years, the country has been mobilizing the public, particularly in rural areas, through nationwide watershed management campaigns.

In an exclusive interview with ENA, Annika Nordin, Development Cooperation Section Head at Sweden Embassy, said participatory forestry is very important area that Sweden can support.

“This is the priority in our strategy we embarked on last year. It is a new strategy where we are going to find the best way to support Ethiopia”, she said.

She added that Sweden is committed to supporting the management of forestry resource which is very important in tackling climate change and building resilient green economy.

According to her, it is important to conduct research on land issues and forests to gain more knowledge and see how to combine what Sweden supports here bilaterally with all the support it renders regionally and globally.

“We are going to link the institutions of Sweden to those in Ethiopia so that they can work together on capacity building, research, and knowledge of forestry management”, Nordin elaborated.

Appreciating Ethiopia’s effort in protecting the environment, the head said “I think it is very important to always have the community with you when you do things and try to change things that are owned by people living close to forest and they can be involved in managing and protecting the forest”.

She further indicated that the programs are something they try to integrate into agriculture to bring resilience to drought and also climate change.

The programs are also trying to integrate gender issues and to see how the poorest of the poor, the landless in rural areas can work on forest protection and management.

Climate Change Implementation Coordinator Director-General at Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Debasu Bayleyegn said Ethiopia has been exerting maximum effort to increase forest coverage so as to reduce carbon emission.

“We have about a 15 percent of forest coverage in the country. This it has enabled us to reduce some level of carbon emission, however given the level of favorable conditions that we have, we should be able to achieve more”, he said.

In this regard, it has been undertaking research and study in collaboration with various institutions, including Mekele, Bahirdar, and Assosa universities and Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute, for the successful attainment of the program.

The director-general said the country has been implementing CRGE strategy over the past five years with the core objective of eradicating poverty, reducing  carbon emission and building green economy before 2022.

In this respect, the plan is to reduce carbon emission to less than 137 million metric at the end of GTP-2.

“The country is endowed with favorable geographical location, good climate and varieties of species of trees, if we utilize this resource we will be able create a situation under which we would further utilize our forest resources”, he said.

The government of Ethiopia has initiated Climate Resilient Green Economy Program in 2011 to protect the country from adverse climate change and build green economy. Source ENA

Ethiopia Launches Sustainable Intervention for Green Cities

Addis Ababa February 22/2017 Ethiopia and the United Nations development program (UNDP) have launched an intervention that will enhance the linkage between urban waste management and greening six cities across the country.

The project will be implemented in six municipalities namely Adama, Bishoftu, Bahir Dar, Dire Dawa, Hawassa and Mekele.

The urban climate change mitigation program, known as Creating Opportunity for Municipalities to Produce and Operationalize Solid Waste Transformation (COMPOST), has received close to 7 million USD from the Global Environment Facility and UNDP.

According to data, urban dwellers make up 18 percent of the population and migration into cities is expected to continue leading to more burden in energy demands.

These demands for energy in urban areas in the past led to forest and land degradation.

The intervention targets 17,000 hectares land afforestation, thus helping the country reduce greenhouse gas emission significantly.

The five-year program will support Ethiopia’s ambitions in building carbon neutral economy.

COMPOST will also help create new jobs, particularly for youth and women as well as SMEs and the private sector in general to work in recycling and an expanding sustainable compost market to support urban agriculture as well as urban forests.

Minister Calls on Stakeholders to Exert More Effort to Ensure Green Economy

Addis Ababa Feburary 10/2017 Stakeholders are expected to exert more effort to ensure sustainable green economy in the country, Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change (MoEFCC) said.

Speaking at a consultative forum today, MoEFCC Minister Dr. Gemedo Dalle said that integrated efforts are needed to build climate resilient green economy.

Building climate resilient green economy needs effort of all stakeholders, including the government, civil servants, schools, the private sector as well as integrated and sustained public participation, he added.

He noted that in the process of building green economy the ministry is controlling and monitoring the impacts of any development activities on environment and society.

In this regard, the ministry enforces corrective measurements to be taken, according to the minister.

Today’s discussion was aimed at developing public awareness in enabling them to display ownership and contribute to building climate green economy, it was indicated.

Various environmental effect review agencies and consultative experts from different regions have attended the consultative forum. Source ENA

Amount of Green House Gases Increasing in Addis Ababa

Addis Ababa Feburary 10/2017 A study jointly conducted by the Ministry of Environment, Forestry and Climate Change, and the Addis Ababa University for the last three years indicated that the amount of green house gases in Addis Ababa and its environs has increased.

The Ministry told ENA that the amount of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxide and other toxic gases has increased in and around Addis Ababa.

The quality of fuel the country imports, which the study says contains high level of sulfur, and increased number of used cars that emit high amount of gases to the air contributed to the increased amount of green house gases in the air, the study said.

The amount of sulfur in the fuel that Ethiopia imports is much higher and this has resulted in toxic emissions from vehicles which in turn exacerbate air pollution in the city, it said.

Furthermore, the research indicated that toxic gas emission from used vehicles has to a greater extent contributed to the increased presence of toxic gases in the air. As most of vehicles that are imported from abroad are second hand and were in service for longer years, they have contributed to air pollution in the city, the report added. The amount of tax levied on used vehicles, which is very low compared to brand new vehicles, has prompted increase in the import of used vehicles.

The report recommended that setting an emission standard on imported vehicles and setting a limited service year for importing used vehicles in addition to encouraging imports of new vehicles could help to reduce the amount of toxic gases that are emitted from vehicles.

The Ministry indicated that a road map for air quality control is being prepared to address the problem in a sustained manner. The Ministry has also concluded a memorandum of understanding with Indian Science and Environmental Research Center to address capacity limitations for establishing air quality control stations in the country.
Out of the 700,000 vehicles that are currently registered in Ethiopia, 62 percent are being used in Addis Ababa and it is believed that this has contributed to the situation.

UN to Plant 1 Mln Trees Near Ethiopian Refugee Camps

Addis Ababa February 9, 2017 A million trees are to be planted in Ethiopia to fight deforestation around camps hosting hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese refugees.

The trees would be planted on 150 hectares of land in Gambella Regional State to meet the growing refugee population’s demand for energy, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said.

Almost 300,000 people, mostly women and children, have found shelter in Ethiopia since conflict erupted in South Sudan in December 2013.

Fires used by the refugees for cooking are fuelled almost entirely by chopped wood, putting considerable pressure on local forests, Reuters quoted FAO energy and forestry expert Arturo Gianvenuti as saying.

The depletion of forests risks creating tensions with local communities and disrupting the ecosystem as trees stabilize the climate, regulate water flows and provide shelter to numerous animal species, it was indicated.

It also exposes refugee women to the risk of sexual abuse as they have to walk long distances in isolated areas to fetch firewood, the expert noted.

To address some of these issues, FAO plans to set up nurseries for fast-growing trees, like Leucaena and Eucalyptus, to supply refugees from four camps in Gambella with wood, he further pointed out.

According to Gianvenuti, FAO and U.N. refugee agency (UNHCR) have also agreed to monitor deforestation with high resolution satellite images and train local craftsmen to produce energy-saving clay stoves that would cut wood consumption by up to 25 percent. Source ENA