If the world is to confront the challenges of mitigating and adapting to climate change while meeting the demands of a rapidly-growing global population, it is vital that we find the balance between conserving and regenerating forest areas with economic growth for poverty reduction. This is what the World Bank’s work on forests aims to achieve.
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“Ethiopia has set a course on a development path to build a resilient, carbon-neutral economy by 2025. Long-term sustainable management of the country’s land and forests is one of the key pillar... Show More +s for achieving our vision for shared prosperity and poverty reduction,” said His Excellency Ato Kebede Yimam, Ethiopia’s State Minister for Forests.In the 1990s, Participatory Forest Management (PFM) was introduced in Ethiopia to tackle severe forest loss resulting from escalating demand for fuel wood and for land for crop production and grazing. Considering that Ethiopia lost large tracts of its forest area since the 1950s, new and effective ways were urgently needed to manage the remaining forest areas (where coffee originated) and to reduce the degradation and loss of fertile land.In areas where these innovations were introduced, communities have experienced positive impacts, not only in terms of increased prosperity, but also in terms of social empowerment. The key to success was the participatory process where forest and land management plans were developed jointly by communities and local governments, spelling out rights and responsibilities for both sides. Ethiopia’s vision of sustainable landscapes is well placed to integrate PFM with a range of other techniques for land restoration, water retention, and promotion of new energy sources that can help reduce deforestation, improve land use, protect soil and water resources, and improve livelihoods. Ethiopia is now using community-based models to rehabilitate forested landscapes on a wider scale. In the north, Ethiopia’s agricultural and forested landscapes are undergoing a transformation supported by the sustainable land management program implemented by the Ministry of Agriculture. The World Bank and other development partners, including Norway, Germany and Global Environment Facility (GEF), are helping to blend financing in innovative ways to support this national vision. Looking forward, the vision of increasing benefits from sustainable landscapes - including poverty reduction and shared prosperity – can be achieved through the integrated efforts of Government agencies in partnership with communities. “PFM has promoted community awareness about how forests control land degradation, maintain healthy landscapes and sustain food and energy security,” said Ato Ararsa, Deputy Director General of Ethiopia’s Oromia Forest and Wildlife Enterprise. “With PFM, communities can diversify and enhance their sources of income, improve social capital and build resilience to droughts and floods.”The regional state of Oromia harbors 60% of the country’s remaining forest and has seen successful PFM pilots. Building on this success, the government now wants to scale up and replicate this effort.Recognizing the fact that development efforts need to take an integrated approach to address the complex and intertwined issues of deforestation, environmental degradation and rural poverty, an ambitious landscape-level program will be implemented in Oromia Regional State. The program aims to break down sectoral silos and foster cross-sectoral institutional coordination with the aim to protect forest, stimulate green growth, enhance food security, and rural livelihoods.The $10 million grant for the forest sector is a strategic complement to the existing large portfolio of World Bank financial and advisory support to the country on sustainable landscapes. One example is the second phase of the Ethiopia Sustainable Land Management Project (SLMP-2), financed through the regional World Bank-GEF Sahel and West Africa Program (SAWAP) in support of the Great Green Wall Initiative. SAWAP is a second generation TerrAfrica investment of $1.1 billion financed by the International Development Association (IDA), GEF, and trust funds, and supports the implementation of a country-driven vision of integrated natural resources management for sustainable and climate-resilient development in twelve African countries. Show Less -