5 June 2018

Ethiopia: Necessity of Enhancing Forest Coverage

Managing to conserve the existing forest coverage through reforestation and afforestation as well as executing other proper landscape forest restoration mechanisms are fundamental to the survival of life on the planet earth.

The African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100) indicates that Africa will restore 100 million hectares of deforested and degraded land by 2030. This regional agenda of country-led effort is important to be implemented and realized with the collaboration of every African citizen. The initiative connects political partners from each African nation with technical and financial support to scale up restoration on the ground and capture associated benefits for food security, climate change resilience, and poverty alleviation.

Ethiopia is undertaking various measures to boost its forest coverage. And the country is taken as a role model in green economy. Among these; tens of millions tree seedlings plantations annually during rainy seasons, prioritization of pro-environment power sources [hydropower, wind power and solar power] and strict policies to decrease fuel wood utilization among households.

The increasing percentage of the country's forest coverage year after year signifies its effective measures in the move to restore its past wide forest resource.

Further to this, the nation needs to focus on planting trees to sustain its economy to grow at its pace. Undertaking successive reforestation and afforestation as well as other recovery mechanisms and activities should be strengthen and prioritized.

Moreover, as the country is home to the second African largest population cultivating vast public awareness on forestry and active public mobilization towards tree plantation and conservation brings a tangible change to its green growth progress.

In addition to this, the economic transformation from agriculture based into industry led economy sought to motivate the efforts of changing its lowland and highland landscape towards dense forest.

The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFCC) is the top forestry related activities monitoring and managing organization. Ministry State Minister Kebede Yimam told The Ethiopian Herald that his organization is doing its level best regarding forest restoration throughout the country. The annual new trees seedling plantation, following up of this planted trees and facilitating the ways forwards are the pride roles the ministry and citizens.

Currently, the country's forest coverage is exceeding 25 percent. This percentage grows as every citizen takes commitment of protecting the environment and nature at all. The country is working massively on its forest resource restoration, researching and development through various mechanisms in collaboration with pertinent sector actors.

Pro Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) and other basic green development policies of the government of Ethiopia are mentionable to the success of the country to play a leading role in the international pro environment and sustainable economic growth.

According to him, in spite of the country's excellent policies, strategies and plans, like land degradation, deforestation and climate change are still the major challenges posing its impact on the country's forest coverage. The ministry in collaboration with pertinent actors is working to manage these difficulties in the short run, he underlined.

Having diversified native tree species is also the other endowments of the country which will contribute its part to the country's endeavors to meet its objective in the sector.

Dr. Abayneh Derero is a Forestry Expert at the ministry. He said that the country has more than 1,000 native tree species. And the ministry is working on seedling, researching and distribution on some 600 tree species.

According to him, utilizing this native tree diversified potential properly is important to decrease Co2 emissions to the environment and keep our environment free from unnecessary gases. In addition to this, these native vegetations will support the economy in various ways, he emphasized.

"As the number of forest research centers is increasing in the country it will have a positive impact towards promoting native trees reforestation and afforestation which will enhance Ethiopia's forest coverage."

Last year, the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MEFCC) revealed a ten-year forest sector development programme that promotes forest coverage and sector's contribution to the national economy. The ten year programme is expected to promote the country's gain from its wide forest resource properly and increase forest coverage.

Protecting the landscape well with full of forestry is attributable to the socio-economic benefit of peoples from nature and enjoying a healthy life. Let everyone be volunteers and active to put his/her hand print in the move against deforestation.


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