At the 1st African Forest Landscape Restoration (AFR100) Regional Conference (October 11-12, 2016), it was acknowledged that most people in Ethiopia depend on the land for their livelihoods.
However, the massive degradation of Ethiopia’s landscape now demands a far better understanding of both agricultural regeneration and ecological restoration, especially on the part of small-scale farmers.
Ethiopia’s minister of forest at the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ato Kebede Yimam Dawd, says that AFR100 will accelerate landscape restoration to enhance food security, increase climate change resilience and mitigation, and combat rural poverty.
“We know that restoring the ecological functions of our landscapes is essential for economic development and achieving food and water security,” he says.
Ethiopia has committed 15 million hectares to be restored, which is one-seventh of the size of country: “We are speaking of using trees in 15 million hectares of agricultural, pastoral, and forest land to increase productivity of land, resilience, and the well-being of our people.”
Dawd says his country has seen progress, with communities mobilizing local volunteers to help restore degraded lands.
The AFR100 conference was co-sponsored by the New Economic Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD), the Federal German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, the World Bank, and the World Resources Institute.
The NEPAD Planning and Coordinating Agency (NEPAD Agency) was established in 2010 as an outcome of the integration of NEPAD into AU structures and processes. The NEPAD Agency is the implementing agency of the African Union that advocates for NEPAD, facilitates and coordinates the development of NEPAD continent-wide programmes and projects, mobilises resources and engages the global community, regional economic communities and member states in the implementation of these programmes and projects. The NEPAD Agency replaced the NEPAD Secretariat which had coordinated the implementation of NEPAD programmes and projects since 2001.