Monday, September 2, 2013

Norway and World Bank to Support Ethiopia Climate-smart Land Management

Ethiopia, a country highly vulnerable to extreme weather events, land degradation, deforestation and food insecurity, is stepping up its efforts to fight climate change, promote sustainable rural development and build resilience.
Addis Ababa -
 Two agreements were signed between the Government of Norway and the World Bank to provide significant financing for sustainable land management, climate-smart agriculture and forest protection in the country.

The first agreement injects an additional US$50 million grant funds from the Government of Norway through a trust fund to co-finance the Sustainable Land Management Program (SLMP II) aimed at reducing land degradation and increasing land productivity of smallholder farmers.

In the second agreement, Norway provides US$13 million through the World Bank’s BioCarbon Fund (BioCF) to support Ethiopia’s Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Facility and to promote climate-smart agriculture, forest protection and land rehabilitation at the landscape level. Norway’s contribution complements initial funding of US$5 million from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development (DFID), and ongoing financing from the Forest Carbon Partnership Facility (FCPF).
nder SLMP II, the Government of Ethiopia is building on the remarkable progress achieved during implementation of the program’s first phase in reducing land degradation and increasing sustainable land and water productivity. Under SLMP I, which started in 2008, over 190,000 hectares of degraded communal and individual farmlands have been rehabilitated and agricultural productivity has improved in areas that were hitherto found to be less productive. SLMP II, a blended IDA credit (US$50 million) and GEF grant (US$14 million) with co-financing from Norway (US$50 million), scales up earlier achievements.

The ongoing process to reduce deforestation and forest degradation (REDD+), a key pillar of Ethiopia’s fight against climate change, will be significantly strengthened with support from the BioCarbon Fund. This program will enable Ethiopia to fully finance its ongoing REDD+ readiness process and to develop a REDD+ pilot program at a Regional State level. It will also provide advisory services to the CRGE Facility, in particular to enhance access to climate finance for REDD+ and other land-based activities.

The BioCF’s new initiative provides an important boost to the activities of the CRGE Facility, which was established by the Government of Ethiopia to spearhead national efforts to reach carbon neutrality by 2025.