Ethiopia: Organizations Call for Combined Effort Against Deforestation

Addis Ababa — Organizations working on environmental conservation appealed to national and international institutions to take coordinated global intervention on the growing deforestation and to support the Ethiopian greening campaigns.

In an exclusive interview with The Ethiopian Herald, German national NGO, Brot Fur die Welt East African representative, Christoph Schneider said that the worsening climate change should be responded with international interventions, and his organization has engaged in actively supporting Ethiopian greening campaigns.

“We have seen four or five consecutive drought seasons only in the East Africa region. Floods, droughts and other climatic crises are killing thousands of people while the rest of people are seemingly running out of coping ability because they are losing resources,” he said.

Some of the disasters happening this time are not natural phenomena. For example, deforestation is a result of the population growth and overutilization of resources as these factors are affecting sustainability of resources.

“We need to replant what we are deforesting. We were just discussing it at the table. Ethiopia could become a timber exporting country and could have a very vibrant timber industry if afforestation campaign continues boosting,” he suggested.

He also mentioned that Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church forest conservation has been regarded as the best example. “The church forests are unique in this regard. Because of its religious nature, forests are preserved, people believe in conserving the trees and this effort in turn preserves the natural habitat of all those places. This should be replicated because it is something that together with dye a cake,” he noted.

Speaking about his organization’s contribution, he said that they do not implement projects by themselves. They are supporting forest conservation through partnership. So, one of such partners is EOTC, they are the ones who are intervening in forest conservation, he noted.

Another commentator, Ethiopian Forestry Development-EFD Policy and Socio-Economic Research Director, AlemayehuNegassa (PhD) also said that greenery campaigns should prioritize conserving indigenous plants.

In fact, greenery campaigns are gaining focus, but it needs more engagement and participation of the global and local partners. The government should also work on both planting and conservation, he commented.

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