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Environment

Ethiopia environment
Protecting the environment preserves biodiversity and revitalizes pastoral lands
Nena Terrell/USAID

 

Ethiopia is a classic example of how severe degradation of ecosystems and productive agricultural lands and poor utilization of water resources increase poverty, food insecurity, loss of biodiversity, and even conflict.

By incorporating environmental issues into its work within Ethiopia, USAID strives to develop initiatives that make improvements in multiple sectors and promote sustainable development. Through on-going activities supporting disaster readiness, USAID is assisting Ethiopia improve its capacity to predict and respond to disasters—principally drought and famine to which parts of the country are prone. Especially through the Famine Early Warning Systems Network (FEWS NET) activity, USAID is helping to predict and plan ways to decrease the use of natural resources during times of economic and food distress, when people tend to increasingly depend on these resources for survival. Under the Productive Safety Net Program, public work interventions are undertaken at the community level to promote soil and water conservation and protect critical watersheds. Not only does watershed protection and rehabilitation reduce erosion and siltation for healthier rivers, it also provides economic and health benefits for the many people who depend on the water source. Furthermore, interventions in pastoral areas increase the grazing value of land through efforts to control or eradicate invasive species such as Prosopis juliflora and Acacia drepanolobium and improve pasture by maintaining enclosures. Bringing more land under improved management can help to reduce the total area needed to maintain cattle populations (as land is allowed to recover and remain productive) or to be cleared for agricultural expansion.

 

Climate Change Leadership

 

Ethiopia is a leader among developing countries on global climate change through its implementation of the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy, an economy-wide, low emissions development plan that places Ethiopia on a trajectory to reach middle-income, carbon-neutral status by 2025. USAID is supporting CRGE to enhance resilience and promote low emissions development. USAID promotes improved access to science and analysis for decision making, including building the capacity of federal and regional government officials on the use of new and existing analytical tools for early warning and disaster risk preparedness, the integration of improved climate change decision-making models, doing vulnerability assessments for different livelihood zones, and updating the house economy profile for the entire country, which is used to measure the impact of climatic shocks—such as droughts—on households.

Activities Include

  • Enhancing Capacity for Low Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS): Support CRGE policies and actions that accelerate the transition to renewable energy and energy efficiency.

  • Graduation with Resilience to Achieve Sustainable Development (GRAD): Assist chronically food-insecure households graduate from the Government of Ethiopia’s food-for-work program through livelihood diversification, asset building, and women’s empowerment.

  • Land Administration to Nurture Development (LAND): Build on USAID's substantial past investments to improve land governance and land administration and strengthen land tenure rights in Ethiopia and thereby promote economic growth, increase agricultural productivity, and reduce conflict and resource degradation.

  • Pastoralist Areas Resilience Improvement and Market Expansion (PRIME): Aim to increase climate resilient growth in the lowlands of Ethiopia by promoting livelihood diversification, enhancing local use of national meteorological information, and piloting weather-based livestock insurance products.

  • Resilience through Enhanced Adaptation, Action-Learning and Partnerships (REAAP) and Restoring Vibrant Villages and Environment (REVIVE) are enhancing community-based disaster risk reduction in vulnerable areas to buttress households against adverse climate shocks.

  • SERVIR: Assist the Government of Ethiopia’s National Meteorology Agency in developing maps and datasets, monitoring water resource availability, and quantifying future climate impacts.

  • U.S. Forest Service: Provide targeted assistance to improve natural resource management methodologies and practices and introduce participatory landscape level rangeland planning, management and control of invasive species.

  • Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene Transformation for Enhanced Resilience (WATER): Improve access to clean and sustainable water sources for target communities in the Somali, Afar and Oromia regions and enhance public awareness on natural resources to prevent rangeland degradation.


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Last updated: August 18, 2015

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