Addis Ababa August 8/2020(ENA) Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission said it has prepared a 10-year strategic plan to help prevent invasive alien weeds that have threatened the nation’s bio-diversities.
Various researches indicate that Ethiopia has great geographic diversity and climatic variability with diverse and suitable ecosystems.
However, there are threats to biodiversity by invasive alien plant species as they cause threats to biodiversity, economic and health problems in the country.
In order to reverse these threats, the nation has developed a 10- year strategy that aims at using the weeds to other beneficial purposes, besides efforts being exerted to control their damages, Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission Commissioner, Professor Fekadu Beyen told ENA.
According to the Professor, researches and studies are underway to find ways to sustainably prevent the damages of the infestations of alien weeds and even use them for other economic purposes.
In this regard activities are underway to use Prosopis, a weed that has been drastically invading grazing lands in the Eastern part of Ethiopia notably Afar Reginal State, for other economic purposes.
The Commissioner indicated that Ethiopian Forest Research Institute has been establishing a factory in Afar region to produce goods using Prosopis trees as a raw material. A research is also underway on Water hyacinth (Emboch) to use the plant for economic purpose.
Professor Fekadu said the prevention methods, that focuses on mowing, has not been successful, citing the efforts being undertaken on the Lake Tana and Lake Ziway which are under grave threats of Water hyacinth locally known as ‘Emboch’.
“Mowing, which is the key technology being applied to controlling weeds in the country, has not been successful as it is not accompanied by other environmental protection activities aimed at preventing the flow of soil mixed with fertilizer ingredients causing for weeds infestation in to the lakes.”
Hence, he stressed the need for strong interventions to prevent overflow of soil and other harmful ingredients by covering the area with vegetation and banning farming activities around the nearby areas, so as to sustainably control the threats of weeds infestations.
The strategy also intends to develop mapping that would indicate the type of the alien weeds, their nature, dominant locations as well as the effective preventive and controlling measures based on researches.
About 35 invasive alien species were identified in Ethiopia, it was learned.
Invasive plants multiply and distribute rapidly and almost many of them import from South and North America countries.