ADDIS ABABA, July 30, 2014 – The Government of Ethiopia has recently signed a new grant agreement with the World Bank to continue to implement approaches to sustainably and equitably manage its forests. The $10 million grant, provided by Norway and DfID (UK) through the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund, will be implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Forests. The grant will support the development of an investment operation in Oromia Regional State that would conserve forests, restore degraded lands, and enhance landscape productivity for multiple benefits. The grant will also further strengthen capacity for scaling up similar landscape-wide initiatives in other parts of Ethiopia. Additionally, it will support finalization of the national strategy to reduce deforestation and forest degradation, also known as REDD+ Strategy, as well as support the identification of options for benefits sharing arrangements and participatory forest management approaches.
Ethiopia’s vision for sustainable landscapes has the potential to improve the lives of more than 80 million people that depend on the health and long-term productivity of the country’s rural and forest landscapes. Investing in greener landscapes also contributes to the country’s Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy, as well as its Growth and Transformation Plan. Ethiopia’s climate-smart and green growth ambitions are producing local benefits while contributing to the global response to climate change.
“The Government of Ethiopia signed a $10 million grant with the World Bank Group that will strengthen Ethiopia’s capacity to manage its forest resources sustainably, and allow the country to establish ‘readiness’ for international forest climate finance by developing baselines and systems for monitoring forest carbon, and to preparing a landscape-level climate-smart program in Oromia Regional State,” said Magda Lovei, World Bank Practice Manager for Environment and Natural Resources in the Africa Region, which is leading the delivery of this grant. “The grant will also support Ethiopia’s strategic goal of maximizing the contribution of Ethiopia’s forests to green growth.”
For two decades, Ethiopia’s communities have been transforming their environment toward more productive and greener landscapes that generate multiple benefits such as cleaner and more plentiful water, higher yields, and expanded tree and vegetation cover that provide livelihoods and buffer against shocks. The government’s Sustainable Land Management Program, for example, has been financed by the Bank and other development partners, and has helped scale up community-led watershed management. The support to the forest sector through REDD+ and other sources will continue to advance work at landscape level. Examples of successful community forest management, supported by the government, are changing the pre-conceptions that many have about deforestation and degradation in Ethiopia – and the ability of the landscape to heal and contribute to poverty reduction.