Ethiopia’s implementation of ‘Green Heritage’ initiative shows results

Standing on the Entoto Mountain in the north of Addis Ababa, the capital of Ethiopia, overlooking rows of green trees stretching forward, like a forest ocean, lush and magnificent. When the reporter interviewed here a few years ago, Entoto Mountain was almost a barren mountain. Now the forest is not only common in the urban area of ​​Addis Ababa, but also forms a wide green belt around the city. Such changes have benefited from the large-scale ecological restoration work implemented by Ethiopia. At present, the country has carried out water and soil conservation work on more than 1.8 million hectares of land, and the ecological environment in relevant areas has improved significantly.

In recent years, climate warming, excessive farming and grazing, deforestation and continuous population growth have exacerbated Ethiopia’s ecological vulnerability. Statistics from the “Agri Africa” ​​organization show that in the past 10 years or so, less than 4% of Ethiopia’s land has been planted with trees, and the vegetation coverage has shrunk significantly. In order to curb ecological deterioration, the Ethiopian government decided to restore and restore the natural ecology through extensive tree planting.

In 2018, Ethiopia released the first national report on forest vegetation restoration potential, formulated a restoration plan, and set 11 million hectares of land as key restoration areas. In 2019, Ethiopia launched the “Green Heritage” initiative, planning to plant 20 billion trees within four years to further green the environment and improve the ecology. In the first week of the initiative, more than 300 million trees were planted across the country.

In April this year, the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture announced plans to plant 6.3 billion trees in the fifth round of the implementation of the “Green Heritage” initiative, of which 45% are aimed at increasing forest cover and 55% are to meet agricultural practices. and horticultural purposes. “With the implementation of the ‘Green Heritage’ initiative, more and more damaged natural ecology will be restored. Ethiopia’s plains, mountains, rivers and canyons will be revitalized to help reduce carbon emissions and achieve economic and social sustainability. Sustained development.” Pascal, an official of the country’s Ministry of Agriculture, said.

Ethiopia has also implemented large-scale land restoration efforts to curb land degradation trends and increase agricultural productivity. In 2009, with the funding of the World Bank, Ethiopia launched a sustainable land management project. It plans to restore the country’s severely degraded watershed within 10 years. The main measures include building small irrigation projects, building surface water collection systems for small farmers, Reducing overgrazing by livestock on hillsides, reforestation in degraded areas, restoration of ditches, etc. More than 860,000 hectares of degraded land have been restored.

China actively assists Ethiopia’s ecological restoration work. In March 2021, the first phase of the China-aided Ethiopian Riverbank Green Development Project was completed and handed over to the local government. Located in Addis Ababa, the project integrates landscape, architecture, municipal administration, roads, water conservancy, and gardens. One of the goals is to help the local area completely solve the sewage problem, realize sustainable and clean utilization of river water resources, improve the ecological environment, and effectively Improving the resilience of cities to climate change. In less than a year, the project transformed the wasteland along the riverbank, which was once full of sewage, into a large-scale urban complex with full functions. The square has become the first choice for many local citizens for outdoor leisure and entertainment. Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy has repeatedly promoted this “beautiful project” at home and abroad.

“People’s Daily” (Version 15, May 26, 2023)