At the ongoing Africa Climate Summit in Nairobi, Norway made a 25 million USD financing commitment to help Ethiopia’s goals to reduce emissions, which, which, which, which depend greatly on the preservation and rehabilitation of its forests.

The latest contribution adds to Norway’s more than 162 million USD investment made in Ethiopia’s forest sector over the previous ten years. The ten years of assistance have helped to protect one million hectares of natural forests, which are currently managed according to sustainable practices. Additionally, it has helped establish 75,000 hectares of high-value planted forests and restore 1 million hectares of damaged forests. As a result of the partnership, 300 000 new and improved livelihoods have been generated.

“I recognize the progress that Ethiopia has made in the forest sector. Large areas of biodiversity-rich forest are now protected from unsustainable use, producing eco-system services that benefit local communities, the country, and the wider region”, said Climate and Environment Minister Espen Barth Eide on the occasion of the announcement.

Although historically half of Ethiopia used to be covered by forest, only 15 percent of that cover remains today. Notwithstanding the forest loss, the remaining forest is home to two of the world’s biodiversity hotspots and acts as a water tower for millions of people all the way into neighboring Kenya.

It also contributes to reducing the country’s vulnerability to the impacts of climate change, such as floods, droughts, and landslides. It is of outmost importance to protect what is left of these fragile ecosystems, not just for local communities, but for the wider region and the world. The Ethiopian government has pledged to ensure sustainable use or protection of all remaining forests and to double the forest cover by 2030. Norway’s forthcoming support to Ethiopia will contribute to scaling up work towards this goal.

African forest restoration presents an immediate opportunity to combat the climate and biodiversity crises while lifting people out of poverty and boosting food security. Under the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative (AFR100), Ethiopia has committed to restoring as much as 15 million hectares of degraded lands by 2030.

By returning lands to their original state, Ethiopia aims not only to mitigate climate change, but also to improve soil health, water availability, and overall land productivity. This will in turn help improve food security and local livelihoods. The additional Norwegian funding will continue to contribute towards these restoration efforts in Ethiopia, complementing recently announced funding from the Bezos Earth Fund for locally led restoration in Africa.


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