7 October 2006

Ethiopia: Unsustainable Natural Resource Utilization Said Causing Environmental Degradation

Addis Ababa — Unsustainable natural resource utilization, supported by the ever growing number of population, is highly devastating environment in the country, participants of environmental forum said.

Concluding a three-day discussion forum organized under the theme: "Environment for Survival" Wednesday, forum participants urged decision-makers, planners and development practitioners to adopt a drought cycle management approach in lowland pastoral areas and prevent further encroachment into the lowland areas.

As 97 per cent of the highland which carries high population is exposed to soil erosion and habitat destruction, they called on the government to give attention in order to save the remaining ecosystem and habitats.

They also called for the implementation of forest development policies and compulsory environmental impact assessments to be carried out before any development activity involving forest areas is approved.

They further said that as green coverage in the capital city is decreasing at an alarming rate, designated urban greens such as parks and forests should be protected to uphold the ecological balance of the city.

The participants recommended community-based ownership and management of natural resources to be promoted and supported by government, civil society and donors.

They also appealed to the media establishments for more time and space on environmental issues, considering the gravity of the environmental degradation.

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