By Mekonnen Teshome

As the global climate change conference kicks off in Egypt, One of Ethiopia’s top agendas is to share lessons from its Green Legacy Initiative which led to the planting of 25 billion trees in four years.

This is according to the Planning and Development Minister (MoPD) Fisum Assefa Adela at the conference.

The thriving Green Legacy Initiative of the country, with other pectoral policies, is one of the crucial policy interventions of the country that envisions its transition to low-carbon economic development, the MoPD says.

As part of the 2050 Pathways Platform that defines the Long Term-Low Emission Development Strategies (LT-LEDS) of the Paris Agreement, Ethiopia has designed its Net Zero and Climate Resilient Development Strategy with a Scenario Maximum Ambition reforestation rate of 8.2 million hectares.

Before leaving for Sharm El-Sheikh, the Minister indicated that her delegation will make efforts to share with the world about the green legacy initiative at the Conference.

Ethiopian Planning and Development Minister Fisum Assefa Adela

The Green Legacy Initiative launched in June 2019 had a target of planting 20 billion seedlings within a period of four years. By the fourth year, Ethiopia has succeeded in planting 25 billion seedlings by mobilizing more than 20 million citizens throughout the nation. The development of more than 120,000 nurseries throughout the country has enabled the creation of more than 767,000 jobs, mostly for women and youth, according to the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations.

Assefa indicated that the Ethiopian delegation to the COP27 would display not only the country’s World Record tree planting initiative but also its note-worthy environmental protection, the building of a climate-resilient green economy, and its impressive renewable energy experiences.

Assistant Administrator and Regional Director for Africa at the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Ahunna Eziakonwa, recently also described Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative as a stepping stone to a better future for Ethiopia.

UNDP has also set a plan to share Ethiopia’s experiences with about 10 other countries and make the Green Legacy initiative pan-African.

Gashaw Abate, an Ethiopian Environment scholar says that advanced western countries have promised to commit 100 billion USD for global climate change mitigation efforts but the promise has not been fulfilled so far.  These countries need to acknowledge the huge reforestation activities of Ethiopia and other African countries made toward climate change adaptation and mitigation and fulfill their promises, he urged.

The expert also indicated that the experience of Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative has shown the importance of leadership commitment in public mobilization in planning, funding, and executing programs on climate change.

According to the General Coordinator of the Alliance for Food Sovereignty in Africa (AFSA), Million Belay Ethiopia should also share its agricultural policy that promotes organic farming activities and the significant results achieved over the last decade.