On Saturday 10 April, the 46 participants of a national workshop on dryland restoration and dry forest management ended an intensive three days of discussions with a huge result a shared vision between the federal government, in the shape of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC), and representatives of six regional governments (Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, Somali and Tigray), international research institutions, and NGOs.
The opening by Ato Tilaye Nigussie, Director of the Forest Sector Transformation Unit laid out the policy framework established by the government, and related commitments on climate mitigation, forests and trees. The overarching themes and context of the workshop were set out in presentations by leading national figures in Ethiopian dryland restoration and climate mitigation efforts, including the international perspective of Ethiopian dry forests in relation to its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).
Challenges and opportunities where presented, such as the use of indigenous seeds, the expanding problem of bush encroachment, the need to direct carbon payments to communities for strengthening and diversifying livelihoods, and to build governmental institution capacity at regional and federal levels. Employing youth in restoration efforts was a recurring theme.
In group sessions, experiences from across the country showed different approaches to landscape restoration, including area exclosures in Tigray, participatory forest management in Benishangul-Gumuz, and rangeland rehabilitation in Somali Region. But all agreed on the centrality of economic benefits to local communities, without which restoration efforts cannot be sustained.
Presentations and discussions also focused on charcoal and the need to develop alternative energy sources. The problem of invasive prosopis trees was highlighted, with a set of identified solutions proposed.
Download the declaration of a commitment towards an national dryland restoration strategy
Read the agreement press release
Download the presentations here:
- Improving management of natural resources in the drylands of Ethiopia: emphasis on drivers of change, livelihood dynamics, and challenges to be addressed (Habtemariam Kassa, CIFOR Addis Ababa)
- The dryland forests of Ethiopia: extent, status, threats and measures (Yitebitu Moges, National REDD+ Secretariat, EFCCC, Addis Ababa)
- Coordination: challenges and new approaches for effective collaboration (Wubalem Tadesse, EEFRI Addis Ababa)
- Tree seeds for dryland restoration (Yigardu Mengesha, EEFRI, Addis Ababa)
- Carbon measurement and NDCs (Nationally Determined Contributions) (Kibebework Getachew, Director, Forest Ecosystem Service Valuation and Carbon Measurement Directorate, EFCCC)
- WeForest in Ethiopia: where we are making a desert belt and breaking the vicious cycle of poverty (Aklilu Negussie, WeForest, Addis Ababa)
- Landscape restoration in Tigray: experience and challenges (Abbadi Girmay Reda, Head, TARI)
- Bush thickening management for palatable pasture in the degraded Borana rangelands (Agena Anjulo, DG, EEFRI, Addis Ababa)
- Oromia Forested Landscape Program: brief overview and benefit sharing mechanism (Tesfaye Gonfa, Program Coordinator, OFLP)
- The status of dry-land forest resources and management practices in Afar Regional State, northeastern Ethiopia (Mohammed Idris (Economic Advisor to President of Afar Region); Mohammed Shumbahri, Semara University)
- Dryland restoration: challenges and opportunities (Mohamed Badal Kenadid, BoANR, NRM- Director Somali Regional State)
- Assessment and development forage biomass estimation system using high resolution satellite images: case of Harshin, Somali (Mohammed Muhyadin, Jigjjiga University)
- Dryland dry forest management in Benishangul Region: Opportunities and challenges (Abeje Eshete, EEFRI, and Bekele Guta, BGRS)
- The status of dryland forest in Amhara Region (Belayneh Ayele, Amhara Regional Environmental Authority)
- COVID-19, locust and war crises on natural resources in Tigray: situation analysis based on a recent rapid assessment (Dawit Gebrezgabiher, Mekelle University, Mekelle)
- Prosopis and innovative feed solutions (Beruk Yemane, Ethio-Feed Plc, Adama)
- Conservation and development of Boswellia papyrifera using branch cuttings: learnings/lessons from a 14 year old plantation (Niguse Hagazi, CIFOR-ICRAF, Addis Ababa)
- Dry agriculture production systems development potential limitation in Ethiopia and beyond. (Kidane Giorgis, CIFOR Fellow, Addis Ababa)
- Integrated prosopis management and utilization work plan (IPMUP) (Adamsu Dubale, USAID, Addis Ababa)
The workshop was organized by PENHA (the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa) and TBI (Tropenbos International), with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the backing of the Government of Ethiopia. It is also the first formal event in this new partnership, as part of TBI’s Working Landscape programme, building on reviews, interviews and field surveys conducted in 2020.