Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) Director Per Fredrik Pharo Visited Ethiopia

Jimma Shabe Sombo
Southwest Afromontane forest Block in Shabe Sombo, Jimma, Ethiopia PHOTO: RNE

Ethiopia and Norway has signed a partnership agreement focusing on reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation, enhancing carbon stock, sustainable forest management (REDD+) in 2013. Since 2013, the government of Norway has been supporting Ethiopia for the REDD+ readiness phase, where Ethiopia has put in place policies and strategies for the implementation of REDD+ in the country.

Recently, Ethiopia and Norway signed a grant agreement of NOK 600 Million for the transformative phase, where Ethiopia invests in the conservation of existing high forest in the South-West Ethiopia, afforestation/reforestation(A/R) & land restoration in the Northern Ethiopia and Public - Private Partnership. Currently, a full climate and forest portfolio is implemented across Ethiopia, by different partners such as Government of Ethiopia sectors, regions and various civil society organizations, for the objective of reducing emissions from forest and forest degradation.

In the partnership agreement, Ethiopia and Norway agreed to conduct a joint consultation meeting every year. As part of this, the NICFI Director, Per Fredrik Pharo visited Ethiopia from 5- 6 December 2017 to discuss the preparations of the government of Ethiopia and various stakeholders, to achieve the common goals of Ethiopia and Norway of REDD+ and afforestation/reforestation  in Ethiopia.

During the visit, the NICFI director had meetings with Ethiopian government officials (State minister for Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, H.E Ato Kebede Yimam and the Director for Bilateral Cooperation at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation) and with various implementing entities, and also made a visit to the Southwest Afromontane forest block of Ethiopia. During the field visit, the director had a chance to discuss with local government bodies and the local forest communities.

Finally, the government officials and the directors agreed on the establishment of strong Forest Sector, Transformation Unit (FSTU) at MEFCC for the transformation forest sector in Ethiopia in general, and the implementation of the REDD+ investment Program signed between Ethiopia and Norway.