Ethiopia to Review Wildlife Legislation and Boost Conservation Efforts and Tourism
Ethiopia is still one of the best kept secrets in the world for visitors to catch sight of an astonishing range of wildlife comprising 320 listed mammal species, 36 of which endemic.
“Our wildlife policy contains all modern elements of proper wildlife management,” reflected State Minister Tadelech Dalacho (Ministry of Culture and Tourism) during a recent high level review of Ethiopia’s wildlife policy and legislation held in Addis Ababa on 15th of July 2013.
She noted that the country was learning both positive and negative lessons from the implementation of its legal framework, which has been in place for the past five years. The state minister noted that it was now time to analyse the framework’s functionality in relation to the goals, vision and mission set for Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA).
Chairperson of the Standing Committee on Environmental Affairs at the House of People’s Representatives, Dr Kebede Kenchola underscored the need to revisit and critically review the existing polices and the mandates of the different actors. His Excellency, Mr Bogale Feleke, the State Minister for Social Policy, Planned Execution and Monitoring at the Prime Minister’s Office, agreed with Dr Kenchola and further emphasised the importance of considering how EWCA can play a part in strengthening the role of the regional governments in wildlife conservation.
A review meeting organised by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism and EWCA in close cooperation with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) brought together stakeholders on 15th July 2013 to help ensure that Ethiopia’s biodiversity, ecosystems and ecological processes will effectively be safeguarded from human-induced pressures, and are represented in a sustainable protected area system that can significantly contribute to the economic development of Ethiopia.
Participants of the review meeting discussed the recommendations and suggested further improvements to a study on ‘Gap Analysis and Revision of the Policy and Legal Framework of Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority and Regions’ that was commissioned by the Ministry of Culture and Tourism. The participants also spoke of increasing the coordination between relevant stakeholders and potentially establishing an advisory body or other forms of fostering a stronger dialog between with all parties. The possibility of further promoting and enhancing public participation and information sharing, amending the procedures for declaring endangered species, creating a flexible fee structure for park entrance fees, and updating the penalty structure for wildlife offenses was also discussed. The review meeting was concluded with the decision to further amend the report and to continue the dialogue on the next steps for up-scaling the efforts for legal revisions in the wildlife legislation.