Bale Forest of Oromia, Ethiopia. 
Photo: RNE/JBJ.Bale Forest of Oromia, Ethiopia. Photo: RNE/JBJ

International Day of Forests 21 March

Forests are crucial for our planet. They are home for a rich variety of animals and birds. They provide shelter and food for some of the planet’s poorest and most vulnerable people. Forests provide climate services by absorbing CO2 from the atmosphere and storing it as carbon in trunks, roots and branches. They prevent erosion by binding the soil, contribute to stable ground water, lower local temperatures and contributes greatly to local and global rainfall patterns.

 

The Government of Ethiopia is one of the most ambitious in the world when it comes to climate change mitigation. The country’s Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy aims for reaching middle-income status by 2025 while maintaining annual greenhouse gas emissions on 2010-level. Forests play a huge role in reaching this goal, in fact will half of emission reductions be taken from the forest sector. The Government of Ethiopia has therefore committed to protect the existing natural forest and double its forest cover by 2030.

The Government of Norway supports Ethiopia’s ambitious goals in various ways: 

  • Supporting the Government to strengthen its forest protection capacity and develop plans and strategies for how to put this plans into action. This work is supported with USD 13 million through the World Bank.
  • Support community based tree planting in Tigray, Amhara and SNNPRS. UNDP provides technical support for these activities. This work is supported with USD 10 million, with additional USD five million being contributed by the Swedish government.
  • Establishment of a forest protection program in Oromia. The World Bank and the Government of Ethiopia is about to start implementing the Oromia Forested Landscapes Programme that will benefit people and forests in the Oromia regional state. Norway, together with UK, Germany and the US has provided the World Bank with support for investments of USD 18 million and additional USD 50 million will be available for purchase for verified emission reductions from the Oromia forests.
  • Wondo Genet College at Hawassa University is working to strengthen Ethiopia’s capacity to measure, report and verify greenhouse gas emissions from the forest, agriculture and energy sectors. Wondo Genet College are receiving approximately USD 4 million to conduct this work. Read more: Click here
  • Farm Africa is working with local communities in the Bale Forest of Oromia, finding ways for both protecting the forests and creating sustainable and improved livelihoods. This work is supported with roughly USD 3 million. Read more: Click here
  • The Government of Norway is working with the Government of Ethiopia to finalize a forest investment plan worth USD 80 million. In addition there are plans to support efforts to strengthen Ethiopia’s tree seed sector and the establishment of  forest plantations in Amhara. Support for the latter two initiatives amounts to USD 14 million.
  • NORAD is also supporting the Development Fund Norway for the implementation of forest protection with community in the Western part of Afromontane forest. The support is around 5 Million USD for 5 years. The project is implemented by the local NGO; Ethio-wetlands and Natural Resources Association.

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