Green Legacy Initiative A Showcase for Global Climate Change Mitigation

 Green Legacy Initiative A Showcase for Global Climate Change Mitigation


Ethiopia’s multiple and integrated programs in mitigating the effects of climate change is a unique undertaking that interlocks economic, social and environmental programs of the nation.  Ethiopia has embarked on Green Legacy Initiative by mobilizing over 20 million peoples during the span of four years. Over the last  four years, some 25 billion seedlings including trees, fruit, and cattle feeds have been planted across the country. 

Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy and its offshoot, the Green Legacy Initiative as pioneered by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has, in view of this writer, four main characteristic features that are effectively linked and blended.

First of all, the green legacy is a national initiative with measurable global impacts that would set an example not only for poor countries that are swinging in a vicious circle of poverty but also for the so called developed countries that are equally suffering from climate change induced global warming and its effects.

Second, although the initiative has vivid global dimensions, Ethiopia is being forced to rely only on its own resources to help mitigate the most dangerous green house effects that are already shattering the global socio-economic fabric and the universal ecosystem. For instance, this year, according to the Steering Committee of the National Green Legacy Initiative, Ethiopia expends more than 20 USD for each tree seedlings and even more for food trees excluding the estimate cost for labor power.

Third, the contributions which Ethiopia has made for mitigating the effects of global climate change, its pioneering initiatives in UNEP and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and its efforts from COP1 to COP 27 are indeed enormous. In particular, the Green Legacy Initiative has been so outstanding. Compared to the contributions made thus far, the recognition and support provided to the initiative by those who had made the pledges for carbon financing is insignificant and not worth of the efforts. Ethiopia’s effort in reducing global carbon emission by its green initiative is a job well done. And at its best, this effort has to be provided with overall support; and at worst, appreciation has to be rendered to Ethiopia worth of the effort. This is not indeed about rhetoric; but a serious issue of human survival.

Fourth, Ethiopia’s economy is predominantly agrarian, constituting more than 80% of the population. Other  sectors such as tourism, manufacturing industries, health services, mining, infrastructure development and transport networks are not immune to climate change. Early warning and metrological findings have proved the aforementioned sectors are affected by climate change. The National Green Legacy serves as rocket booster to the development of various sectors of the national economy.

Fifth, Ethiopia’s  Green Legacy Initiative is not a standalone program. It is intrinsically  linked with "Dine for the Nation", Dine for Sheger", "Dine for the Generation" projects which will have huge contribution to the national economy through tourism development, investment promotion in these eco-toursim projects and a host of other sectors. 

The practical experience gained in Ethiopia on mitigation of the effects of climate change and the ingenious initiative of Green Legacy needs to be replicated not only to the rest of Africa but also to all developing countries because they are the ones who are suffering from the brunt of  manmade catastrophes of climate change.

The climate change mitigation that Ethiopia has continued to undertake is a nationally organized program to rescue the fauna and flora of the country and its natural resources like water, vegetation and forest resources from extinction followed by gradual depletion. The development, conservation of natural resources including the indigenous bio-diversity are wealth of the country. Ethiopia is expending a huge amount of financial resources every year to plant trees that would serve as a sustainable asset for current and coming generations. This is the central ideas of the National Green Legacy Initiative that intends to plant some 6.5 billion trees across the country this year.

Among other things, making its share to reduce the unabated concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere through the National Green Legacy Initiative, Ethiopia is contributing to the global reduction of carbon emission into the earth’s atmosphere.  

 As for the international aid agencies and developed nations, although their relief aid is most welcome in the short run for the effects of climate change like drought, flooding, landslide and other climate change induced disasters through their emergency assistance, it is prudent for aid agencies and  affluent nations to provide overall support for countries who are struggling to overcome the root causes of poverty. In fact, affluent nations are emitting billions of tons of carbon into the air, to which they are morally bound to support sustainable climate change mitigation programs that countries like Ethiopia are effectively undertaking.

In his recent address to the G7 Conference that was conducted in Hiroshima, Japan, the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres remarked that climate change is a  practical problem in which enough support is to be provided for the developing countries which are the victims of climate change but contribute almost nothing to the global warming which unless stopped to the level of 1.5 degree Celsius could gallop to 2.8 degree Celsius at the end of the century.  Ethiopia is contributing its part to avoid this dangerous effect of global warming and deserves to be supported.

Although multi-lateral negotiations and agreements are very important, it is pointless to engage into a marathon of dialogues to no end as the effects of climate change are already threatening the survival of mankind.  The exemplary role currently played by Ethiopia needs to be given due recognition as the saying credit where credit is due goes; it should also be promoted not only by the country but by all those who claim to be deeply concerned about the impending negative effects of climate change. And it is fitting to mention that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was awarded the Outstanding African Leadership Award by the American Academy of Achievement and the Global Hope Coalition in Washington DC, in recognition of his Green Legacy initiative, in December, 2022.Ethiopia will certainly remain to be a showcase for mitigating the adverse effects of climate change.


Ethiopian News Agency