15 February 2008

Ethiopia: World Bank Pledges $100m

Addis Ababa — World Bank office here vowed to help Sustainable Land Management (SML) Platform in Ethiopia of partners, just launched on Wednesday, by pledging 100 million USD for implementation.

Speaking at a press conference and panel discussion held to introduce the launching of the Platform, Dr. Kenichi Ohashi, Country Director of World Bank promised the stated amount of money to combat the challenge which has been creating environmental degradation, manifested in the erosion of land, as well as the loss of water resources and biodiversity.

It was stated at the event that the challenge was double fold: the agricultural production has to be increased to meet the needs of the people and at the same time natural resources have to be protected.

To meet that task, the Sustainable Land Management (SLM) platform has been established to join forces of all partners involved in rural development and the protection of natural resources, said GTZ officials.

The platform was founded to alleviate land degradation and food insecurity problems and encourage alignment of stakeholders for more coordinated effort and efficient utilization of resources, according to the officials.

Ahmed Nasir, State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development on his part said his government would be committed to play its own major role by building strong coalition with partners.

"We want to build a strong coalition for sustainable land management, to harmonize the approaches and standardize the methods for implementing technologies" The platform was founded by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development together with a number of partner organizations like World Bank, German Development Cooperation, FAO, World Food Program, USAID, UNDP, IFAD, and with support from Terrafrica, a partnership that aims at addressing land degradation in Sub-Saharan African countries.

Also present at the event, Dr. Andrea Bahm, GTZ director of the Ethio-German Program for Sustainable Utilization of Natural Resources for Improved Food Security (SUN) pointed out that the national SLM framework is paving the way to direct efforts and resources of the public, government and donor organizations in an efficient and timely manner.

In connection with launching the SLM platform a documentary film entitled" THE LESSONS OF THE LOESS PLATEAU, China", was shown at German house. It showed the rehabilitation of the formerly degraded Chinese Loess Plateau.

The event was organized by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, the Ethio-German SUN program and the World Bank as part of their effort to promote sustainable land management in Ethiopia.

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