Ethiopia is in the process of launching a new National Forest Sector Development Programme. This aims to be a cornerstone for the country’s aim for a green growth economy to reach middle-income country status, zero net increase in greenhouse gas emissions over 2010 levels and the international commitment to restore 15 million hectares of forestland. The Ethiopian Ministry for Environment Forests and Climate Change, jointly with UNDP in Ethiopia, invited a group of Swedish experts to assess gaps, contribute to a road map and assess possible future Swedish engagement.
During the first week of December, SLU Global's Director, Anders Malmer, was leading an eight people delegation with experts from SLU, the Swedish Forest Agency and the consult SCC Forestry (Svensk SkogsCertifiering AB). This mission was a follow-up on the visit by a delegation from the Ethiopian Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MEFCC), led by HE Minister Gemedo Dalle and HE State Minister Kebede Yimam to the Swedish forest sector in May 2017, when SLU Global also was the coordinator.During the visit in Ethiopia, the delegation had an intensive programme of six days with visits and dialogues. This covered national to local level actors as well as visits in two regions and in Addis Ababa. Apart from the need for strengthening some specific technical subjects from national level to local extension, one of the main messages from the Swedish side was the need for involvement of smallholders and their strive for economic, social and ecological development. This cooperation continues in early 2018 with formulations of proposed joint efforts for key capacity development.
In parts of the Amhara region there is spontaneous development of increasing forest cover on smallholder land driven by market demand for building material. Amhara Environment Forest and Wildlife Authoroty Director Dr. Belayneh Ayele is explaning for the delegates and Ethiopian colleges. From the left (Kevin Bishop), UNDP National Climate Change Specialist Ababu Anage, HE State Minister Kebede Yimam, Dr Erik Karltun SLU, Elmi Nure Sida program officer at the Swedish Embassy in Ethiopia, Amhara Forest Enterprise General Manager Yekunuamlak Yilma, Belayneh Ayele and Amhara region REDD+ coordinator Sintayehu Deresse.
The Wondo Genet College of Forestry was supported for capacity development by SLU during almost three decades. In more than ten organisations visited; in all of them the delegation met numerous alumni of the WGCF and SLU cooperation. In the front: Dr. Mats Sandewall SLU and the National Forest Sector Coordinator Dr. Tefera Mengistu. In the background the new library building.
Photos: Anders Malmer