WASHINGTON, June 13, 2019 — The World Bank’s Board of Executive Directors today approved a $500 million grant from the International Development Association (IDA)* to help Ethiopia meet its climate resilience and mitigation goals and sustainably manage its natural resources.
Ethiopia is a global leader on Sustainable Land Management (SLM) and climate action. However, land degradation still affects about one in five people in Ethiopia and is a significant drag on rural growth and poverty reduction. Ethiopia’s highly climate-sensitive economy and low adaptive capacity make it among the most vulnerable to climate change. Furthermore, the intersection of land management, rights, and use is a key development issue for millions of rural Ethiopians facing water, food, land tenure and livelihood insecurities.
“Continued soil erosion, water insecurity and land insecurity lead to land degradation with direct losses to those that rely on local natural resources for food, livelihood and energy needs,” said Paul Jonathan Martin, Lead Natural Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank.
While Ethiopia has achieved positive results in addressing land degradation, for a transformative and lasting scale-up of SLM interventions, national, regional and local institutions need to be strengthened to expand this process, and to maintain restored landscapes over the long term. While the issuance of land holding certificates has enhanced farmers’ incentives to restore watersheds, a functioning, modern rural land administration system and national database is needed to ensure the security of land tenure.
To address these challenges, the Climate Action through Landscape Management (CALM) Program approved today will help finance Ethiopia’s SLM initiatives. It will deliver action on climate change through payments for results in participatory watershed management and rural land administration, broadening the geographic reach of past and current initiatives, and consolidating gains through institutional reform.
“This new Program will help build the strong institutions, participatory management, and secure tenure rights needed to ensure the continued application of SLM practices over the long term,” added Ross Hughes, Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist at the World Bank.
Specifically, CALM will provide results-based financing over five years to the Government of Ethiopia to increase the adoption of SLM practices and to expand access to secure land tenure in rural areas. The program will incentivize the establishment of Watershed Users’ Associations and the implementation of participatory watershed management plans in up to five thousand watersheds of the Ethiopian highlands, as well as the issuance of up to eight million landholding certificates, and the functioning of a modern land register in up to 280 woredas.
“Sound environmental management is crucial for climate change action – both for building the resilience of vulnerable communities and for enhancing carbon storage. By providing performance-based financing to the government, CALM will help address critical capacity constraints in government institutions at the federal, regional and woreda levels,” said Carolyn Turk, World bank Country Director for Ethiopia, Sudan and South Sudan.
In addition to reducing land degradation, CALM will increase carbon sequestration, and deliver livelihoods that are more sustainable and resilient to climate change. By providing performance-based financing, CALM will shift the emphasis of the national SLM program towards the establishment of national capacity and the longer-term sustainability of outcomes.