7 March 2018

Ethiopia: Natural Resource Conservation

It is a known fact that our planet is getting warmer from time to time causing a substantial impact around the globe. As many agreed, human's activities are the primary cause to it.

Hence to address the change and mitigate its harsh consequences, various activities have been carried out in sense of urgency. Failure to take immediate steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, as experts point out, will make stabilizing atmospheric concentrations extremely difficult in the future and will greatly exacerbate the impacts of global warming.

Developing nations including Ethiopia are now facing the impacts of climate change even if they have less or almost no contribution to the emissions.

Ethiopia used to face massive drought and food insecurity crisis due to such climate change threats repeatedly. with the recent El Niño induced drought the worst in the nation's 50 years history. This is mainly due to the fact that the livelihoods of millions were in danger due to it.

According to the Environmental Policy of Ethiopia, smallholder peasant agriculture, in some areas including forestry in the nation, is the dominant sector accounting for about 45 percent of the GDP, 85 percent of exports and over 80 percent of total employment. Agriculture has been often affected by recurrent drought, natural resource degradation, and poor infrastructure.

Renewable natural resources, that is land, water, forests and trees as well as other forms of biodiversity, which meet the basic needs for food, water, clothing and shelter, have now deteriorated to a low level of productivity. In many areas of Ethiopia, the present consumption of wood is in excess of unaided natural sustainable production, according to the policy document.

The burning of dung as fuel instead of using it as a soil conditioner is considered to cause a reduction in grain production by some 550,000 tons annually. Many times accelerated soil erosion caused a progressive annual loss in grain production estimated at to about 40,000 tons, which unless arrested, will reach about 170,000 tons, as reports from 2010 indicates.

According to an abstract from Pubic citizen under the topic Climate Change: The Urgency, Impacts, and Solutions, the Earth is expected to warm by approximately 2-6 degree centigrade or 3.6-10.8 degree fahrenheit in the next century which would melt the ice land and expand warm water. As a result, sea levels are predicted to rise approximately by about 4 inches to 3 feet. In addition to flooding due to the rising sea levels, coastal areas will experience more severe storms and surges due to warmer ocean temperatures. General climate patterns are also expected to change, with increases and decreases in precipitation, the abstract further noted.

Meanwhile, scholars and scientists in the environmental stream often underline that the effects of global warming depend largely upon the energy path we take and reversing measures needs to be taken by nations in the world. And all stakeholders should give primary attention to finding alternative means of producing and transporting electricity.

Many nations including Ethiopia are now eyeing to the implementation of Climate resilient green economy and towards creating alternative sources of energy to have no pollution and threat to the environment. That is why Ethiopia is focusing on such a safe path. As part of this, there is huge mass mobilization in the nation to planting seedlings and engaging on natural conservation tasks in a mass mobilized form as part of nation's environmental protection and conservation strategy.

Natural Science Expert Meseret Yohnasses believes that there needs to be integrated natural resource conservation tasks in the nation in an integrated and on a continuous basis to improve the livelihood of various bio-diversities and enhance farmers productivity in return.

Tiruneh Girma who is also a senior practitioner in the stream said that irrigation activity, biodiversity works and seeding plantation are parts of natural conservation tasks that are done at a national level with due attention in various places across the nation.

It is good to introduce best preserving practices in the area which have shown amazing results in other places to protect the land, water and soil so as to enhance farmers productivity and protect the environment and the ecosystems from pollution, he said.

Indigenous trees and plants are now growing due to the natural forest conversation tasks in different states in the nation and now farmers are getting improved productivity after the implementation of natural conservation works and mobilizations, the practitioner stated.

Planting trees is not just a one-time event that people will stop them at times. It is connected to the life of human beings as far as people are alive to keep the balance of nature and protect the ecosystem. And nations in the world should be concerned about the future of the planet and to the wellbeing of the next generation.

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