Workshop on dryland restoration and dry forest management, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Workshop on dryland restoration and dry forest management, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Ethiopia - 17 May, 2021

On Saturday 10 April, the 46 participants of a national workshop on dryland restoration and dry forest management ended an intensive three days of discussions with a huge result a shared vision between the federal government, in the shape of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC), and representatives of six regional governments (Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Oromia, Somali and Tigray), international research institutions, and NGOs.

The opening by Ato Tilaye Nigussie, Director of the Forest Sector Transformation Unit laid out the policy framework established by the government, and related commitments on climate mitigation, forests and trees. The overarching themes and context of the workshop were set out in presentations by leading national figures in Ethiopian dryland restoration and climate mitigation efforts, including the international perspective of Ethiopian dry forests in relation to its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

Challenges and opportunities where presented, such as the use of indigenous seeds, the expanding problem of bush encroachment, the need to direct carbon payments to communities for strengthening and diversifying livelihoods, and to build governmental institution capacity at regional and federal levels. Employing youth in restoration efforts was a recurring theme.

In group sessions, experiences from across the country showed different approaches to landscape restoration, including area exclosures in Tigray, participatory forest management in Benishangul-Gumuz, and rangeland rehabilitation in Somali Region. But all agreed on the centrality of economic benefits to local communities, without which restoration efforts cannot be sustained.

Presentations and discussions also focused on charcoal and the need to develop alternative energy sources. The problem of invasive prosopis trees was highlighted, with a set of identified solutions proposed.

Download the declaration of a commitment towards an national dryland restoration strategy

Read the agreement press release

Download the presentations here:

The workshop was organized by PENHA (the Pastoral and Environmental Network in the Horn of Africa) and TBI (Tropenbos International), with the financial support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands and the backing of the Government of Ethiopia. It is also the first formal event in this new partnership, as part of TBI’s Working Landscape programme, building on reviews, interviews and field surveys conducted in 2020.