The Director of the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) Mr. Andreas Dahl-Jørgensen visited Ethiopia this week. He was in the country to follow-up on the long-term Ethiopia-Norway climate partnership. During his visit he met with key partners in the Ethiopian government, as well as multilateral and civil society partners. As part of the visit he also went to see the church forests around Menagesha supported by Norway.
Norway pledged support to Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy strategy at its launch in 2011. The support has a long-term perspective with the aim to reduce deforestation and increase forest cover in line with national and international commitments. So far, around NOK 391 million or roughly USD 45 million has been disbursed to various government and civil society programs. The funding commitment in the period 2015-20 is NOK 840 million or close to USD 100 million. The funding is used for rolling out a big community based forest management and forest restoration program in more than 100 woredas and to establish a Forest Sector Transformation Unit at federal level. The aim of this support is to protect Ethiopia’s existing forests, support efforts for planting new forest and at the same time create jobs and strengthen local communities. Civil society organizations also receive support for strengthening the Ethiopian tree seed sector, establishing green villages in Amhara, protecting the Bale forest, engaging the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in forest protection and climate change among others.
The Norwegian government established the Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) in 2008 to contribute to the international efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries (REDD+). NICFI has bilateral collaboration with eight forest countries, of which Ethiopia is one. The aim of the support is to contribute to the three overall objectives of NICFI:
• The international climate regime is an efficient policy instrument for reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.
• Cost-efficient and verifiable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.
• Conserve natural forests in developing countries to maintain the forests’ carbon storage capacity.