Ethiopia's Green Legacy Initiative Exemplary for Africa: ECA Director

Addis Ababa May 31/2023 (ENA)The Green Legacy, which enhances biodiversity side by side with economic activities, is an interesting example for Africans, the Economic Commission for Africa Technology, Climate Change, and Natural Resources Director said. 

United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) Technology, Climate Change, and Natural Resources Director, Jean-Paul Adam told ENA that the Green Legacy program that Ethiopia has been undertaking side by side with other economic activities, such as growing coffee, which provides jobs and improves livelihood not only contributes to the protection of biodiversity but also to the economy.  

“There are some interesting examples in Ethiopia, where you have the Green Legacy, which protects the natural environment; and it happens side by side with economic activities,” he said, adding that the “growing of coffee (for example) provides jobs and which improve livelihoods.”

According to him, it's very important that these types of planting are done in a way that enhances biodiversity; and this means properly choosing the type of plants and also looking at the impact of this planting on the environment.

For instance, the country is considering how the plantation can address the issue of water retention, he noted.

Indigenous saplings friendly to the environment and seedlings that boost agricultural yields have been increased during the Green Legacy plantation campaigns, it was learned.   

UNECA has been providing technical support to Ethiopia’s works to protect biodiversity.  

Adam pointed out that “Ethiopia is already doing a program that is very vast and which has a very big impact, and we are supporting simply to provide technical expertise to ensure that you are getting the right results.” 

The country is also doing a successful program for building back better post-COVID-19 in terms of launching a biodiversity green initiative to promote the sustainable management of catchment areas in critical energy infrastructure zones by deploying nature-based solutions.  

The Green Legacy Initiative which protects biodiversity side by side with economic activities that benefit the people through job creation and improving livelihood is an interesting example for Africans.

The director believes that biodiversity is one of the most important elements for African countries to realize economic transformation.

However, it is being exploited, extracted, or made use of without benefiting enough of the population, according to Adam.

“So having the right frameworks on the protection of biodiversity can allow us to develop economic activities that protect the biodiversity, while also delivering improvements in job creation and livelihoods.” 

The director advises countries to maximize their income from different sectors, including ecotourism, by developing sustainable value chains in agriculture.

African countries should also have strategies for better coordination in implementing the Convention on Biodiversity and Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna in a way that also improves their economic opportunities. 

Ethiopian News Agency