Ethiopia’s new forestry law: A win for landscapes and livelihoods?

Ethiopia – The Ethiopian government has a big dream: restoring 22 million hectares of degraded lands and forests by 2030. By doing so, the country aims not only to increase tree cover and restore degraded forests, but also to significantly enhance the forestry sector’s contribution to agricultural production systems, water and energy; to improve food and nutritional security; and to create more opportunities for employment and household income. It is a bold and laudable pledge, made as part of the 2011 Bonn Challenge and the 2014 New York Climate Summit’s goal of restoring 350 million of hectares worldwide by 2030. But what’s the best way to make it a reality?

A new forest law was enacted in January this year that is a significant step in the right direction, says Habtemariam Kassa, Team Leader of Forests and Human Well-being Research at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) who supported efforts of the Ministry in the process of revising the national forest law. The 2018 National Forest Law – a revised version of the 2007 forest law – now clearly recognizes the rights of communities and acknowledges their role in managing natural forests and establishing plantations, without unduly compromising ecological services or biodiversity. Read the full story on Forests News.