21 August 2018

Ethiopia: Collective Efforts in Actualizing Redd + Program

According to a new study led by Princeton University, enhanced growth of the Earth's plants during the 20th century has caused a significant slowdown of the Earth's transition to being "red-hot." This study, the first to specify the extent to which plants have prevented climate change since pre-industrial times, found that land ecosystems have kept the planet cooler by absorbing billions of tons of carbon, especially in the past 60 years.

From 186 billion to 192 billion tons of carbon have been sequestered in the planet's land-based carbon sink since the mid-20th century. Land use by humans, from the 1860s to the 1950s, was a substantial source of the carbon entering the atmosphere because of deforestation and logging. Humans began to use land differently after 1950s, by restoring forests and adopting larger scale / higher yield agriculture. Simultaneously, industries and automobiles continued to steadily emit carbon dioxide that contributed to a botanical boom.

In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, Dr. Yitebitu Moges, Manager for REDD+ program, said that Ethiopia is one of the victims of the growing emissions. He stressed that both deforestation and forest degradation are the major contributors of the emissions of greenhouse gases.

To curb the impacts, Ethiopia REDD + project has been realized under Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change. The program has been doing various efforts to create informed business and experts and other pertinent stakeholder communities across the board.

He noted that since inception under the start up phase the program launched awareness creation among various pertinent stakeholders of half million in bid to realize and promote REDD +concepts and actualize meaningful involvement, including indigenous peoples and other forest-dependent communities, on the implementation in various approaches.

Ethiopia natural forest carbon emission reached to 18 million ton and from other forest 5 million ton. This shows Ethiopia has work hard to mitigate this emission in various sectors.

Once Prime Minister Dr.Abiy Ahmed said "We are determined to develop the desert and change to paradises." It well said but in my view rigorous efforts should put in place in forestation efforts of the high land Ethiopia where water and forest green land are found abundantly.

Since land, water, forests and food security are all connected, we cannot have food security without ecosystem services to sustain agriculture, and we cannot conserve forests and other ecosystems without thinking about how to feed a hungry population, and we cannot grow food without enough water. Decision makers and the leadership at higher level should acknowledge than ever before meeting the sustainable development goals. Nations across the world had met the set goal because the leadership involvement in forestation.

Forests are part of the natural infrastructure of any country and are essential to the water cycle so the leadership should look ways to handle coming to the forefront to mobilize the whole structures across the board.

As Ethiopia is looking to actualize industry led economy, forest plantation should take the epicenter because they reduce the effects of floods, prevent soil erosion, regulate the water table and assure a high quality water supply for people, industry and agriculture.

Ethiopia is losing about 92 thousand hectares of forest covered land every year, this happening because nation has not yet ratified "Land use policy" if the document had been proclaimed, forests lands will be protected.

Managing forests sustainably and equitably is essential for maintaining the ecological integrity, maintaining or enhancing freshwater supplies, protecting biodiversity and improving rural livelihoods.

Dr. Yitebitu further noted that nation is remaining forest resources are under threat, from agricultural expansion and unsustainable fuel wood collection, inadequacy of legal and regulatory frameworks coupled with their poor implementation, institutional instability of the forest sector and poor capacity, all these compounded with economic, cultural and demographic factors.

Ethiopia REDD + project communication specialist Yishak Dinku for his part said that the project has been striving to address drivers of deforestation and forest degradation and bring significant part of the country's degraded areas under forest cover through forest restoration, afforestation and reforestation activities.

Forests provide essential ecosystem services beyond carbon storage and emissions offsetting - such as health (through disease regulation), livelihoods, water, food, and nutrient cycling and climate security.

Despite various efforts, we are witnessing that they are remaining undervalued in many countries in my view; it is high time for nation and apply comprehensive and collective approach to mitigate the ever growing impacts. We should not focus on competing with the more immediate gains delivered from converting forests into commodities. Because ecosystem services are operating from local to global scales and are not confined within national borders; all people are reliant on them and it is in our collective interest to ensure their sustained provisioning into the future.

Ethiopia

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