National Communication of Ethiopia

National Communication of Ethiopia to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) – June 2001

(Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia Ministry of Water Resources National Meteorological Services Agency)

1. Introduction

The atmosphere plays a key role in the exchange of radiation energy between the earth and the sun. It is known that the greenhouse effect or the heat trapping property of the atmosphere keeps the annual average surface air temperature of the earth at about 15 oC. Without this natural phenomena the earth’s annual average temperature would be – 18 oC and life as we know it would not exist at such cold situation. This important function of the atmosphere is being threatened by the rapidly increasing concentration of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere as a result of human interference. At the present time about 7 billion tones of carbon are released annually into the atmosphere from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.

What is more worrying is the future. According to the Second Assessment Report (TAR) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), if steps are not taken to reduce emission of greenhouse gases (i.e. business as usual scenario), the current mean annual air temperature of the earth will increase by 1.5 – 3.5 0C towards the end of the 21st century. Such drastic change of climate in a short span of time is expected to have adverse impacts on the socio-economic development of nations. The international community adopted the UNFCCC at UNCED in 1992 held in Rio de Janeiro to combat antropogenic climate change. Ethiopia ratified the UNFCCC in April 1994. The Climate Convention commits all Parties to develop and submit “national communications” which should contain inventories of greenhouse gas emissions and information on steps taken to implement the Convention at the national level. The Initial National Communication of Ethiopia to the UNFCCC is prepared following the guidelines of the UNFCCC for the preparation of Non-Annex I national communications.

2. National Circumstance

Ethiopia is located between approximately 30-150 N latitude and 330-480E longitude. The country covers a land area of about 1.12 million km2, occupying a significant portion of the Horn of Africa. It shares boundaries to the east and southeast with Djibouti and Somalia, to the north with Eritrea, to the south with Kenya, and to the west with the Sudan. Ethiopia is one of the ancient settlements and civilizations in the world. Ethiopia’s history starts at Axum in the northernmost part of the country. Axum is the country’s most ancient city and the capital of the historic Axumite Empire (4th Century B.C.). The population of Ethiopia in 1994 (the base year for the Convention) was 53.5 million, the third largest in Africa after Nigeria and Egypt. Most of the population lives (about 85%) in rural areas. Life expectancy at birth is estimated at 49.8 and 51.8 years for males and females respectively, the average being 50.7 years. Currently growth rate of the population is about 3% and the size of population is projected to increase to 129.1 million by the year 2030.

The climate of Ethiopia is mainly controlled by the seasonal migration of the Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) and associated atmospheric circulations as well as by the complex topography of the country. It has a diversified climate ranging from semi-arid desert type in the lowlands to humid and warm (temperate) type in the southwest. Mean annual rainfall distribution has maxima (>2000 mm) over the Southwestern highlands and minima (<300 mm) over the Southeastern & Northeastern lowlands. Mean annual temperature ranges from < 15 oC over the highlands to > 25 o C in the lowlands. In terms of rainfall occurrence one can generally identify three seasons in Ethiopia namely; Bega: – dry season (October- January), Belg: – short rainy season (February- May) and Kiremt: – long rainy season (June- September).

Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries in the world. The Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 1994 was USD 6108.60 million at factor cost (in constant 1980 dollars) and per capita income of just under USD120.00. The economy of the country is dominated by agriculture with about 50% share while industry and services contributed 11% and 39% respectively to the national GDP in 1994. The main export items of the country are Coffee, hides, oilseeds, beeswax, sugarcane, etc. Real GDP grew by 5.4% in 1994/95. The growth rate of GDP (at current market price) on average was 6.0%, 9.1% and 11.1% during the period of 1980/81-1990/91, 1980/81-1997/98 and 1992/93-1997/98 respectively (MEDaC, 1999). This shows that the economic reform made after the political change in 1991 has brought some improvement in the Ethiopian Economy. The high dependence of the economy on agriculture means that it is very sensitive to climate variability and this could be an important factor to the vulnerability of Ethiopia to climate change. Key socio- economic indicators of the country for 1994 are given in Table ES.1.

The heterogeneity of the land resource endowments has resulted in a number of diverse ecological conditions ranging from semi-desert to alti-montane and different types of land use patterns. The major land use forms are grazing and browsing, cultivation and forests and woodlands. More than 50% of Ethiopia’s land is utilized for grazing and browsing. It has to be noted here that grazing and browsing occurs in cultivated areas, in woodlands and forests, bush lands, shrub lands, grasslands, etc. Cultivation forms the second largest (nearly 23%) land use while forests and woodlands cover about 7% of the country. Over 16% are bare land, in the form of exposed rock, salt flats and sand.

Agriculture which includes crops, livestock, forestry, fisheries and agriculture is the most important sector of the national economy and the main source of livelihood for 85 percent of the population. It is the source of 90% of the export earnings and 40-50% of the national GDP. Food crops, industrial crops, export crops (e.g. coffee), livestock and livestock products are the main components of the Ethiopian agriculture. Subsistence mixed farming (cultivation and livestock rearing) and nomadic pastoralism are widely practiced in the highlands and lowlands respectively.

In 1994 cropped land for cereals, pulses and oilseeds was estimated to cover about 6.9 million hectares. The five main cereals (Teff, Maize, Barley, Wheat and Sorghum) cover a very large proportion of the total cultivated land. The livestock population in Ethiopia that reaches more than 80 million heads is the largest in Africa and the 10th in the world. It constitutes a large component of the Ethiopian agricultural sector and is well integrated with the farming systems found in the highlands and provides the sole means of subsistence for the nomadic pastoralists in the lowlands. Natural forests in Ethiopia are believed to have once covered 40% of the country’s land area. Estimates of the 1994 Ethiopian Forestry Action Plan indicate that the closed natural forests have been reduced to 2.7% of the country and these are found mainly in the southwestern highlands. The annual loss of natural forest cover is estimated to be in the range of 150,000 to 200,000 hectares.

Table ES.1: Major Socio-Economic Indicators for Ethiopia in 1994

Criteria 1994
Population 53,477,265
Relevant areas (in Sq.Km) 1,120,000
GDP (in million US$) 6,108.60
GDP per capita (in US$) 114.22
Estimated share of the informal sector in the economy in GDP (%) N.A
Share of industry in GDP (%) 11.2
Share of services in GDP (%) 39.1
Share of agriculture in GDP (%) 49.7
Land used for agricultural purposes ( cultivation) (in ha) 6,960,180
Urban population as percentage of total population 13.7
Livestock population i.e Cattle + Sheep + Goats+ Horse + Asses +

Camels + Mules (no. of heads)

Cattle 31,450,000
Sheep 27,527,000
Goats 19,762,000
Horse 2,750,000
Asses 5,200,000
Camels 1,000,000
Mules 630,000
Poultry 54, 000,000
Forest area including high forests, woodlands and bushlands (in ha) 27,900,000
Population in absolute poverty (%) 45.5
Life expectance at birth (years) 50.7
Literacy 23%
· Urban 69%
· Rural 15%

N.A: Not available

Ethiopia has the largest bee population among African countries by having about 10 million bee colonies. The annual honey and beeswax production has been estimated at 3,300 and 3,500 tons respectively and this makes Ethiopia one of the eight countries with the highest production in the world. Ethiopia is rich in biodivrsity with high endemism. The richness in flora and fauna is a reflection of the diverse ecological setting, climate and topography found in the country.

The Ethiopian flora is estimated to contain 6500 to 7000 species of higher plants, of which about 12 percent are endemic. The country has the fifth largest flora in tropical Africa and is one of the 12 Vavilov centres due to its crop genetic diversity. 277 terrestrial mammals and 862 species of birds have been recorded in Ethiopia. Currently there are 9 national parks, 3 sanctuaries, 8 reserves and 18 controlled hunting areas covering a total area of about 192, 000 Km2.

Ethiopia is endowed with vast energy resources particularly hydropower. Energy supply in Ethiopia is composed of three main sub-sectors, namely; biomass, petroleum and electricity. Currently the energy need of the country is satisfied by wood fuel (77%), dung (7.7%), crop residue (8.7%), Bagasse (0.06%), charcoal (1.15%), electricity (1%), liquid petroleum gas (LPG) (0.05%), and oil products (4.8%). Most of the energy is utilized for household purposes. To date the country’s total installed capacity of electricity is about 450 MW.

The conventional transport system in Ethiopia is comprised of a road network consisting of 23,812 kms of classified roads, a single gauge railway line running for a distance of 781 kms from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, two international airports and thirty domestic airports. There are also eleven ships and vessels operating along the routes to western Europe, the middle and far east with gross and net registered tonnage of over 60,000 and 30,000 respectively. Transport services are generally not accessible to the large majority of the rural population and hence there is heavy dependence on walking, head loading and traditional means of transport using pack animals. According to the 1997 vehicle inspection and registration data there were 102,880 operational vehicles in the country.

Ethiopia is the “water tower” of Northeast Africa. There are 12 drainage basins in the country. Most of the rivers in these basins cross the national boundary. The total available water (mean annual flow) is estimated at 111 billion cubic meters and the ground water potential is about 2.6 billion cubic meters while the potentially irrigable land in the country has been estimated at 3.7 million hectares.

Although Ethiopia’s water resource is enormous, very little of it has been developed for agriculture, hydropower, industry, water supply and other purposes. To date only about 160,000 ha (about 4%) of the potential irrigable land has been developed. National coverage of potable water supply stood at 26% by 1992 while coverage of sanitation services is only 7% which is low by even the Sub-Sahran standards. There is also a wide divergence in the water supply coverage between urban (76%) and rural (18.8%) areas.

Major environmental problems in Ethiopia include, soil erosion, deforestation, drought, over-grazing, desertification, loss of biodiversity including wildlife and pollution of water. Ethiopia is a Federal Democratic Republic. Member states of the Federation are the State of Tigray, the State of Afar, the State of Amhara, the State of Oromia, the State of Somalia, the State of Benshangul/Gumuz, the State of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples, the State of the Gambela Peoples and the State of the Harari People. Addis Ababa and Dire-Dawa are chartered cities. The Federal Government administration is based on parliamentary system. Members of the two parliaments, the House of Representatives and House of Federation, are elected bodies from the people across all the regions and nationalities.

3. National Greenhouse Gas Inventory

The Revised 1996 IPCC Guidelines was used to estimate Greenhouse Gas emissions by sources and removals by sinks in the country for the years 1990-1995. Emissions/removals of six gases namely Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Nitrogen Oxides (NOX), Carbon Monoxide (CO), Non-Methane Volatile Organic Compounds (NMVOC) and Sulphur Dioxide (SO2) were addressed from five sectors. As per the guidelines of the Conference of the Parties (CoP), the base year for Non-Annex I party reporting is 1994. Results of the 1994 National GHG Inventory are presented in Tables ES.2 and ES.3 following the IPCC long and short summary formats.

Emissions of Main Greenhouse Gases- 1994

Carbon dioxide (CO2)

Ethiopia’s total (gross) CO2 emission, excluding the Land-Use Change & Forestry (LUCF) sector, has been estimated at 2,596 Gg in 1994 (Tables ES.2 & ES.3). About 88% of this total CO2 emission came from fossil fuel combustion in the Energy sector and the Transport (road) sub-sector is the main emitter of CO2 within this sector. The Industrial Processes sector contributed 12% of the total CO2 emissions mainly as a result of cement production. In the same year biomass burned for energy, mainly in domestic households, emitted around 66,757 Gg of CO2. This amount is not added to the total CO2 emissions as per the IPCC recommendation.

The Land-Use Change & Forestry (LUCF) sector has been a net sink in 1994 which amounted to about -15,063 Gg of CO2. This amount is a balance between Changes in Forest and Other Woody Biomass Stocks and Forest and Grassland Conversion subsectors. The country’s stock of natural forests, woodlands, shrubs and plantations sequestered about -27,573 Gg of CO2 in 1994 while emission of CO2 as a result of deforestation was estimated to be 12,510 Gg in the same year.

Methane (CH4)

The national methane emissions totaled about 1,808 Gg in 1994. The Agriculture sector (enteric fermentation) is by far the largest source of methane emissions in Ethiopia followed by the Energy sector resulting from fossil fuel use in the residential sub-sector (Table ES.2 & ES.3). The Waste and the Land-Use Change & Forestry sectors make a small contribution to the total CH4 emissions.

Nitrous oxide (N2O)

The national total Nitrous Oxide emissions have been estimated to be about 24 Gg in 1994. The Agriculture sector is the principal source of Nitrous Oxide emissions in Ethiopia contributing 81% of the total emission mainly as a result of fertiliser use in agricultural soils. The Energy and Waste sectors contribute 12% and 6% respectively to the total national Nitrous Oxide emissions. The contribution of the Land-Use change & Forestry sector to the N2O emissions is found to be negligible (Tables ES.2 & ES.3).

Aggregated Emissions and Trends

Aggregation of the 1994 CO2, CH4 and N2O emissions across the five sectors using the 1995 IPCC Global Warming Potential (GWP) factors over a 100 years time horizon results a total of about 48,003 Gg CO2-equivalents excluding CO2 emissions/removals from the LUCF sector. With the population of 53.5 million for the same year, the per capita emission would be 0.8976 tonnes of CO2-equivalents per year. Sector wise Ethiopia’ s emission profile is dominated by emissions from Agriculture contributing 80% of the total while gaswise it is dominated by CH4 contributing 80% of the total CO2- equivalent emissions in 1994.

There is a general increasing trend of GHG emissions in Ethiopia in the period 1990- 1995. The relative comparison of GHG emissions for the years 1990 and 1995 shows that total (gross) CO2 emissions (i.e. emissions from the Energy and Industrial Process sectors) have increased by about 24% while emissions of CH4 and NOX increased by 1% and 119% respectively. Aggregate emissions of GHGs in terms of CO2 –equivalents has increased by 12%. The sink capacity of Ethiopia in the LUCF sector is also decreasing rapidly. It is important to note that the rate of growth in GHG emissions vary across sectors and sub-sectors.

Uncertainty Assessment

The quality of the activity data and emission factors used in the national inventory of greenhouse gases determines the reliability of the estimates. In this regard high confidence can be put in the estimates of CO2 emissions from the Energy and Industrial Process sectors. Estimates of CO2 emissions/removals from the LUCF sector is highly uncertain. A medium confidence can be put on emissions of CH4 from Agriculture, Waste and Energy sectors. Estimates of N2O including NOX, CO, NMVOC and SO2 could be highly uncertain. In order to reduce the uncertainties in the GHG inventory there is a need to improve the collection and quality of the national data and to develop local emission factors.

4. Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Mitigation Options

Attaining the ultimate objective of the UNFCCC requires the participation of all Parties in reducing GHG emissions and enhancing sinks. It has been noted that there is a general increasing trend of GHG emissions in Ethiopia in the period of 1990-1995 and it is expected to increase in the future along with socio-economic development and population growth. On the other hand, the sink capacity of the country in the LUCF sector is decreasing rapidly due to deforestation mainly for agricultural and energy use. It is obvious that the contribution of Ethiopia to the global emission of GHGs is negligible. While the alleviation of poverty and socio-economic development is Ethiopia’s priority, the country is also concerned with the protection of local and global environment. As indicated in the 1994 Environmental Policy, Ethiopia is committed to work with the international community to combat antropogenic climate change.

A number of options which could have the twin objectives of sustainable economic development and GHG mitigation are identified in the Energy, Land Use Change and Forestry, Agriculture and Waste sectors. Some of these options include:

  • Promoting the use of renewable energy. Ethiopia could contribute to GHG mitigation by developing and exploiting her huge hydro, solar, wind, biomass and, geothermal energy resources not only for her own consumption but for neighboring countries as well.
  • Improving/promoting energy efficiency and conservation e.g. wide dissemination of improved biomass and charcoal stoves, such as ‘Mirt Mitad and lackech’.
  • Promoting the use of fuels with low carbon content (fuel switching) e.g. exploiting the Ogaden natural gas reserve and use of gasohol (blending of gasoline with ethanol which is a by-product of sugar factories in the country) for various purposes including transport.
  • The promotion of the use of smaller cars through tax differentiation based on engine size, expansion of public transport infrastructure, improving the efficiency of operating vehicles by carrying out maintenance, inspections and training, improving urban traffic, promoting environmentally friendly transport modes such as bicycles.
  • Improving forest management practices, protection/preservation of existing forests from loses by deforestation and other practices, initiating new afforestation and reforestation programs, rehabilitation of degraded forests, promoting agro-forestry, developing and restoring gallery forests along river banks.
  • Increasing livestock productivity through improved nutrition with supplementation and treatment of forages to improve digestibility and through improved genetic characteristics, promoting sustainable agriculture, promoting mixed crop livestock farming practices where appropriate, promoting the use of manure-management system facilities, adopting appropriate fertiliser application, promoting conservation tillage techniques to sequester carbon in cultivated soils, rehabilitation of overgrazed watering points and long-term settlement areas and redistribution of manure that is accumulated near these settlements.
  • Integrated waste management, composting solid waste of Addis Ababa city and landfill gas recovery from solid waste site of Addis Ababa city. Implementation of these options with the financial and technical support and appropriate technology transfer from developed countries will enable to reduce GHG emissions and enhance sinks. It should be noted that mitigation options identified in each sector are results of preliminary analysis and further study is highly recommended.

5. Vulnerability Assessment and Adaptation Options

Climate Change is expected to have adverse impacts on socio- economic development of all nations. But the degree of the impact will vary across nations. The IPCC findings indicate that developing countries will be more vulnerable to climate change. Preparing for adaptation to the impacts of climate change by carrying out climate change impact assessments is one of the commitments of Parties under Article 4.1 of the UNFCCC. The 1961-90 climate has been taken as the baseline climate of the country. Future changes in climate were projected using one-transient and three equilibrium General Circulation Models (GCMs) and incremental scenarios. Socio-economic scenarios have also been prepared until the year 2030. Five socio- economic sectors namely Agriculture (crops + livestock), Forestry, Water Resources, Wildlife and Human Health have been considered in our vulnerability and adaptation assessment. Models such as DSSAT, WatBal, Holdridge Lifezone and expert judgement were used in the analysis. A number of climate change impacts and possible adaptation options are identified in each sector. It has been observed that rainfall projections from GCMs which have large uncertainty at the moment very much influences the sign of the impact in some sectors.

Details of the vulnerability and adaptation assessment is found in the relevant chapter of this report. It should be noted here that results of the vulnerability and adaptation assessments are preliminary and as such they should not be viewed as technically rigorous and exhaustive. Further work is needed in this area to improve the assessments and reduce uncertainty.

6. Policies, Programs and Measures related to Climate Change

Ethiopia has ratified the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Biodiversity Convention, Desertification Convention, Convention and Protocols to protect the Ozone Layer, etc. Accordingly relevant governmental institutions have been entrusted to discharge responsibilities in the area of environment and development and amongst which, the NMSA is mandated to deal with climate related affairs.

Ethiopia has not yet developed specific climate change policies, programs and measures. However there are a number of environmentally oriented policies, strategies and action plans already in place that can directly or indirectly contribute to the objectives of the Climate Convention. These policies, strategies and action plans include the 1994 Environmental Policy, Conservation Strategy of Ethiopia, Population Policy, Science and Technology Policy, Energy Policy of Ethiopia, Agricultural Policy, Water Policy, Forestry Action Plan, Disaster Prevention and Preparedness and Early Warning Policy,

Health Policy, Development Plan of the Addis Ababa City Council, etc. Support for the implementation of these relevant policies, strategies and action plans in the form of funding, technical assistance, training and technology transfer through the Convention mechanisms is extremely essential.

7. Research and Systematic Observation

Climate, atmospheric & hydrological monitoring and databases

Climate research and monitoring are also commitments Parties have under the Climate Convention. The responsibility to monitor climate in Ethiopia lies on the National Meteorological Services Agency (NMSA). Currently a network of about 629 (125 principal + 185 ordinary +319 raingauge) meteorological/ climatological stations are run by NMSA nationwide. NMSA also maintains an upper air sounding station and primary data receiver systems for METEOSAT and NOAA satellites at Addis Ababa. Currently there are no greenhouse gas and ozone monitoring stations in the country. NMSA provides routine information on current climate conditions in the country including monthly and seasonal climate outlooks. Ethiopia actively participates in the

World Weather Watch (WWW) program of the WMO by providing daily weather observations from 18 synoptic stations which are disseminated worldwide for use in climate and weather prediction. Ethiopia also cooperates with regional organisations such as the African Centre for Meteorological Applications and Development (ACMAD) and the Nairobi based Drought Monitoring Centre (DMC) in the field of climate and meteorology.

Hydrological monitoring in Ethiopia is carried out by the Hydrology Department of the Ministry of Water Resources. Currently there are about 338 operational stream gauging stations distributed over the major river basins. Database on energy use and energy balance is maintained by the Ethiopian Rural Energy Promotion Centre (EREPC) of the Ministry of Mines and Energy. An inventory of the woody biomass resources of Ethiopia has been undertaken by the Ministry of Agriculture since 1990 under the Woody Biomass Inventory and Strategic Planning Project (WBISPP). It is expected that the outcome of the Project will provide up-to-date and reliable information on the forest resources of the country. The Central Statistical Authority (CSA) is also one of the main government organ in collecting data and developing databases in Ethiopia. It should be noted that the existing climatological and hydrological observation network in the country is far from being adequate. The management of the climatological, hydrological and other databases relevant to climate change also needs strengthening and the government of Ethiopia is making efforts towards this end.

Climate research

One of the mandate entrusted to NMSA is to carry out research and studies in the field of Meteorology and the Agency implements this task through its Meteorological Research and Studies Department. So far significant progress has been made in understanding the weather and climate of the country. With the exception of limited activities at the Department of Geography of the Addis Ababa University, Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization and the Arbaminch Water Technology Institute, graduate and undergraduate courses/programs including research in Meteorology and Climatology are virtually absent in higher education and research institutions of the country.

Since the issues of climate change are relatively new, research work so far done in the field is also limited in the country. However, the following steps have been taken.

  • A Team has been established under the Research and Studies Department of NMSA to co-ordinate and carry out research on climate change issues in the country since 1994.
  • A Climate Change Country Study project was undertaken from 1993-1996 with a financial and technical support from the US Government.
  • Ethiopia has been participating in the GEF supported Climate Change Enabling Activities Program since 1999.

8. Education, Training and Public Awareness

The importance of Education, Training and Public Awareness in dealing with the challenges of climate change are well recognised by the Convention as stated in its Article 4 and Article 6. Ethiopians need to be made well aware about the commitments of the country under the Convention, the impacts of climate change, adaptation and mitigation options as well as about measures that can be taken at the individual level to combat climate change. In line with this NMSA as a focal institution has made various efforts during the last few years in order to increase general awareness and technical skills in climate change. These efforts include producing climate change articles on newspapers and magazines, giving talks in environmental clubs, organising technical and nontechnical workshops and seminars on climate change, participating national experts in training workshops, seminars organised abroad including IPCC plenaries and sessions, giving interviews and press releases on climate change on television and radio, etc.

The Ministry of Education (MoE) has also made efforts to introduce Environmental Education in the school curricula at various levels. Topics on climate change have been infused with subjects like Geography, Agriculture and Biology. The teaching of Environmental Economics at the Department of Economics in the Addis Ababa University is also worth mentioning. Despite the above mentioned efforts the level of awareness about the environment in general and climate change in particular is still very low among most Ethiopians. Graduate and undergraduate courses/programs including research in climate change are not yet included in the education system of relevant higher education and research institutions of the country. Climate change is a new and complex issue. Decision makers, professionals and the public at large should be made aware about climate change.

Training is also a necessity to implement climate change programs and polices. The effort to raise awareness and to create educated and skilled experts to handle climate change issues should continue through various means such as:

  • Producing articles and conducting interviews through the mass media;
  • Developing climate change web-site and networking;
  • Organising a series of targeted workshops/seminars/ panel discussions;
  • Preparing and widely disseminating information and teaching materials as well as fact sheets on climate change including the Initial National Communication of Ethiopia to the UNFCCC;
  • Launching climate change courses in universities, teacher training institutions and secondary schools; and
  • Short and long term training of national experts in the various aspects of climate change.

9. Financial, Technological and Capacity Building Needs and Constraints

The Convention very well recognises the need for the provision of financial and technical support including technology transfer and capacity building for developing country Parties to fully participate in the implementation of the Convention. As a least developed country Party and as a country which falls under most conditions stated in article 4.8 and 4.9 of the UNFCCC, Ethiopia needs a special consideration for financial and technical support, technology transfer and capacity building in meeting her commitments under the Convention.

Data collection and monitoring

Data generating, gathering, archiving and analysing capability of the country, which is week at the moment, needs to be enhanced. Climatological, hydrological, ecological, biodivesty/wildlife and land use/land cover monitoring are all essential in dealing with climate change. Relevant institutions such as Ministry of Agriculture, Central Statistical Authority, Ministry of Mines and Energy, Ministry of Water resources need to be strengthened in this respect in terms of manpower, training, and facilities. Of particular importance is strengthening of the national meteorological and hydrological services of the country by

  • Improving the density of the climate and hydrological station network through the establishment of new observation stations and rehabilitating existing ones;
  • Improving the communication system for data collection and dissemination;
  • Modernizing data base systems including quality control; and
  • Short and long term training of staff to maintain the service.

Capacity building in data collection and monitoring will improve the country’s ability to produce timely and well processed data to meet the requirement of different users including the supply of data for climate change studies. The country will also have the capacity to be better prepared for extreme events such as drought and to effectively and properly apply climate and hydrological information in decision making and socioeconomic development planning.


Skilled human resource development to handle climate change issues is a priority for Ethiopia. There is a need to develop and implement a training program which contains both short-term and long-term training in areas such as vulnerability and adaptation assessment, integrated Assessment, climate variability, climate change detection and climate modelling, mitigation analysis, adaptation and mitigation costing, GHG inventory, mitigation and adaptation technology assessment, transfer and adoption, policy Analysis, program and project development in climate change, formulation and implementation of adaptation and mitigation action plans, Land use planing, use of satellite remote sensing data, Geographic Information System and statistical analysis techniques, etc.

Research and studies

The socio-economic development of Ethiopia is very much influenced by climate and its variability including drought. The IPCC has concluded that climate change will have significant adverse impacts on developing countries like Ethiopia. Therefore there is a need to carry out climate change research and studies to better understand impacts and identify best adaptation options by enhancing national research capacity in the following areas:

  • Climate change vulnerability & adaptation assessment in key socio-economic sectors;
  • Current climate variability particularly extreme climate events such as drought and flood and its coping mechanisms;
  • Integrated assessment;
  • Climate change detection and climate modelling;
  • GHG inventory and mitigation analysis;
  • Adaptation and mitigation costing;
  • Technology assessment, transfer and adoption; and
  • Policy analysis.

Awareness creation

Awareness about climate change is crucial for the implementation of the UNFCCC. As climate change is a new issue the level of awareness among policy makers, professionals and the general public about it is very low in the country. Therefore, financial support and capacity building to develop and implement climate change awareness program/project is necessary.

Development of national climate change network

Institutional linkages and communication have to be strengthened by building a network of stakeholders through electronic means such as the Internet. This will facilitate exchange of information and experience among experts, national, regional and international institutions. Consultation for project/program preparation and implementation will also be enhanced if there is fast communication means.

Strengthening of the national focal institution

The National Meteorological Services Agency is the focal institution for coordinating climate change issues in the country. The Climate Change and Air Pollution Studies Team of NMSA in particular is responsible for the follow up of the day to day and research activities in climate change. The Team needs to be strengthened in terms of manpower, training and facilities to better co-ordinate climate change issues in the country.

Financial support and capacity building to develop a documentation and information centre under NMSA, to enhance the availability of relevant climate change materials for various audiences will be essential. The participation of the country in the climate change negotiation process is very weak due to lack of financial support and inadequate negotiation and language skills.

Delegation of Ethiopia needs to get training in negotiation skills in the various aspects of the Convention including recent issues such us the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) as well as in the preparation of key position papers in order to enable them participate effectively and meaningfully in climate change negotiations. Since climate change is a complex and multi-disciplinary issue it is essential if relevant lead ministries also participate in the climate change negotiations. In this regard adequate financial support is needed to send large enough delegation to cover the important aspects of the Convention meetings.

Mitigation activities and technology transfer

As a party to the UNFCC Ethiopia is willing to contribute to the achievement of the ultimate objective of the Convention despite her very low contribution to the global GHG emissions. There are a number of potential mitigation options/ opportunities, which could meet both objectives of socio-economic development and climate protection. Ethiopia will identify and implement these options with the provision of financial, technical and technological support from developed countries. Potential areas/options for financial support, technology transfer and project development in GHG mitigation are Energy sector

  • Promoting use of renewable energy. Ethiopia could contribute to GHG mitigation by developing and exploiting her huge hydro, solar, wind, biomass and, geothermal energy resources not only for her own consumption but for neighboring countries as well;
  • Replacement of diesel generators by hydropower mainly in urban centers;
  • Substitution of photo voltaic (PV) lanterns for kerosene lighting;
  • Improving/promoting energy efficiency and conservation e.g. wide dissemination of improved fuel wood and charcoal stoves, such as ‘Mirt Mitad and Lackech’;
  • Promoting the use of fuels with low carbon content (fuel switching) e.g. exploiting the Ogaden natural gas reserve for various purposes including transport; and
  • Use of gasohol (blending of ethanol with gasoline) for cars i.e. supply side management;

Land-use change & forestry sector

  • Improving forest management practices;
  • Protecting/preserving existing forests from loses by deforestation and other practices;
  • Initiating new afforestation and reforestation programs;
  • Rehabilitation of degraded forests; and
  • Promoting agro-forestry;

Agriculture sector

  • Improved nutrition through strategic supplementation and other methods;
  • Treatment of forages to improve digestibility;
  • Increasing productivity through improved genetic characteristics;
  • Promoting sustainable agriculture;
  • Promoting mixed crop livestock farming practices where appropriate;
  • Promoting manure-management system facilities;
  • Adopting appropriate fertiliser application;
  • The use of conservation tillage techniques to sequester carbon in cultivated soils;
  • Rehabilitation of overgrazed watering points and long-term settlement areas and redistribution of manure that is accumulated near these settlements;

Waste sector

  • Integrated waste management;
  • Composting solid waste of Addis Ababa city; and
  • Landfill gas recovery from solid waste site of Addis Ababa city.

10. Implementation Strategy and Monitoring

Environmental degradation is a key issue in Ethiopia. In light of this the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA), an institution in-charge of environmental issues in general, is established at the federal level. The Environmental Policy of Ethiopia, an umbrella policy which is composed of 10 sectoral and 10 cross-sectoral environmental policies, was formulated in 1994. Environmental regulations and legislation are also formulated and submitted to the Government for approval. The EPA mainly assumes regulatory role and co-ordinates various activities within line ministries, agencies and non-governmental organisations. The Policy includes implementation issues like institutional co-ordination, legislative framework and monitoring, evaluation and review provisions. Among the 10 sectoral environmental policies one of them deals with Climate Change and Air Pollution. In this context, the NMSA is mandated to deal with this latter issue and implementation of Climate Change and Air Pollution issues falls under its responsibility.

Climate change issues are complex and their handling need multi-disciplinary approach. Continuity in the context of co-ordination will be the responsibility of the NMSA, but stakeholders will have specific responsibility. There is a need to maintain and strengthen the established Climate Change Steering Committee and the Expert Teams including the Climate Change and Air Pollution Studies Team of NMSA.