Launch of 10 year plan to scale up action on Ethiopia's Forest Sector

Oct 8, 2018

“It’s Time for Action” Minister of Ethiopia’s Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFCC), Dr. Gemedo Dalle stressed at the launch of the national 10-year Forest Sector Development Programme.

The launch of the 10-year National Forest Sector Development Plan will serve as the roadmap to guide forest related policies and interventions.

Ethiopia’s forest coverage has dwindled over the years, particularly in the last few decades due to population growth and demand for fuelwood and agriculture land.

Minister Gemedo noted that Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy (CRGE) gave due recognition to the need to reverse deforestation and forest degradation should the country have a chance at meeting its development goals.

The programme is spearheaded by the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the financial support of the Governments of Norway and Sweden. The support is provided through a five-year Institutional Strengthening of the Forest Sector Programme (ISFSP) launched in 2015.

Speaking at the launch, Ambassador Torbjon Pettersson of Sweden and Ms. Mariann Murvoll, chargé d'affaires at the Royal Norwegian Embassy both underscored the need to do away with perceived contradiction and strike a balance between long term green investments and meeting the immediate needs of communities.

The forest coverage currently stands at 15% but through the new programme it is expected to grow to 20% by 2020, while 22 million hectares of degraded land is expected to be rehabilitated by 2030. The forest sector’s contribution to national GDP is also expected to grow from 4% to 8% by 2030. 

Through the ISFSP, interventions started in 13 woredas in Amhara, Tigray and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples regions and in 2018 was expanded to 54 woredas that include Oromia region.     

Highlighting the strong linkages to the Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDGs 2,3,8,13, and 15, UNDP Country Director Ms. Louise Chamberlain stressed that, “The large scale goals of this plan can only be achieved with the strong involvement of the people of Ethiopia and government leaders at all levels and across the country; through strong partnerships and substantive coordination across line ministries.”                        

To date, the programme’s progress has included the following support:

The design of a ten year national forest sector development programme ;

The initiation of regional forest sector programmes for 9 regions and two city administrations;

Rehabilitation of 133,000 hectare of land;

9,000 hectare of land has been covered with fast rotation plantation;

Creation of alternative livelihood opportunities for 4,873 households out of which are 1,912 women headed households ; and

Creation of seasonal job opportunities for 7,667 members of the community, out of which 2,898 are women



(left to right : Ambassador Torbjon Pettersson of Sweden,  Ms. Mariann Murvoll, chargé d'affaires at the Royal Royal Norwegian Embassy, HE Dr. Gemedo Dalle, Minister Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFCC), Mr. Tilaye Nigussie, Director of the Forest Sector Transformation Unit, and Ms. Louise Chamberlain, UNDP Ethiopia Country Director)  

The minister also launched a Forest Sector Transformation Unit, based within the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change with funding from Norway and technical support of UNDP. The unit was set up with to deliver on the following objectives:

1. Build and scale-up a pipeline of transformative, high-value forestry innovations.

2. Support the delivery of initiatives by capacitating the forestry sector through targeted, hands-on support to national, regional and woreda teams.

3. Provide evidence-based policy advice and recommendations to MEFCC and cross-sectoral coordination mechanisms. 



For more information contact : National Climate Change Specialist, UNDP Ethiopia

Mr. Ababu Anage 

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