Building the national capacity and knowledge on climate change resilient actions in Ethiopia

In Ethiopia, changes in temperature and precipitation patterns have already been observed. In the short and medium term, these changing conditions could seriously hamper the economic growth of the country as its main driver for economic development, the agriculture sector, is highly climate sensitive.

Climate change is a recent area of concern in Ethiopia. It will be a cross-cutting issue within the next Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP), so enhancing the capacities of public institutions, private companies and non-state actors is of utmost importance for providing essential skills to enable stakeholders to fulfil their institution’s roles and mandates.

GCCA support will contribute towards achieving Ethiopia's ‘Climate Resilient Green Economy’ (CRGE) strategy through capacity building and promotion of sustainable land management. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been designated to coordinate and make climate change policy an integral part of development initiatives. In this context, key issues have been identified which include the need for a strategic and operational focus with actions concentrated on specific responses; and the need to address immediately and directly the preservation/restoration of ecosystems that are functioning but are at risk of degradation, or are already in need of urgent rehabilitation.

The results of the project are incredible. We are witnessing great success in reducing soil erosion, increased biomass for livestock and reducing expansion of gully formation.’
Member of Yezat Watershed Committee, Central Highlands of Ethiopia, discussing the existing Sustainable Land Management project outcomes, on which the GCCA-supported intervention builds

Targeting capacity building and sustainable land management

Overall objective:

Contribute towards achieving Ethiopia's Climate Resilient Green Economy through capacity building and sustainable land management.

Specific objective:

Increase the awareness and capacity of targeted government institutions, both at federal and regional levels, and the rural population at large, to deal with climate change.

Main expected results and activities 

The Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) has the institutional capacity to coordinate and mainstream climate change into policy, regulations and strategic development planning.

This involves developing climate finance guidelines and building the capacity of the EPA to support line ministries' actions to achieve eligibility for climate finance. There will be a focus on renewable energy investment, particularly biomass energy stoves, to maximise adaptation and the impact on livelihoods, while also accessing carbon finance to support reductions in carbon emissions.

A knowledge base is developed that allows stakeholders at all levels to build resilience to climate change impacts.

Within the EPA, an easily accessible database and knowledge management system for climate change experience sharing and scaling up good practices will be set up. Climate model downscaling and vulnerability analysis at a local level, linked to the GCCA sustainable land management pilot sites, will be undertaken.

Climate change activities have successfully been field-tested in the areas targeted by the Sustainable Land Management programme.

The Sustainable Land Management (SLM) programme supports land registration and uses watershed-based approaches to rehabilitate degraded lands and improve farmer’s livelihoods. Activities here will include rehabilitation of degraded watersheds; developing the potential of rehabilitated watersheds; and fostering access to carbon finance opportunities from agriculture and participatory forest management actions. It will also involve soil and nutrient management; crop choice and optimisation of planting dates for climate change adaptation; water use efficiency for climate change adaptation; and increasing farmers' access to market opportunities and storage facilities.

Key achievements 
  • All regions involved (initially Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples regions) have conducted project launching workshops at regional and woreda levels. Technical committees and project steering committees have also been established at regional and woreda levels.
  • Awareness-raising meetings have been held for stakeholders.
  • Baseline household surveys, as well as watershed identification and mapping, have been completed.
  • About 40 nursery sites have been established across the concerned regions to produce seedlings for the protection and conservation of natural resources in the targeted watersheds.
  • In Amhara region, 85 fuel saving stoves of the Awramba type have been distributed to beneficiaries, and animal fodder production has been undertaken on 129 hectares.
  • In Oromia region, 5 000 apple seedlings imported from Spain have been supplied to beneficiaries, and the construction of a small-scale irrigation scheme has started.
  • Training has been delivered to 200 government development agents and 430 farmers on climate-smart and energy-saving technologies that can help in adaptation, reducing deforestation and forest degradation and improving livelihoods.
Lessons learned 
  • Government ownership of the programme design is high but adequate time is needed for consultation during formulation. 
  • Experience sharing among regions involved in project implementation, notably through field visits, is critical to identify best practices and boost the outcomes of the project.
Way forward 

Coordination is to be strengthened at federal, regional and woreda levels to speed up implementation of activities planned under the sustainable land management component.