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With the support of the UN-REDD Programme, a high level delegation from Ethiopia participated in a South-South Knowledge exchange in the Republic of Korea from 1-8 March 2016  followed by a subsequent visit to China from 9-14 March 2016.  The Ethiopian delegation sought to learn from the Republic of Korea and China's valuable experiences on implementing bold national-scale forest management and bamboo development.

2016 03 02 Welcome E tiopian Delegation to  KF5S

The knowledge exchange in the Republic of Korea included the participation of high-level government officials including, three Ministers (Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change; Minister/Advisor to the Prime Minister's Office on Watershed Development and Climate Change Affairs; and State Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change), six presidents of Regional States, bureau heads, development partners and senior experts.

Ethiopia envisions building a climate resilient green economy through identified key economic sectors, including forestry, that will play crucial roles in sustainable development. This seeks to put Ethiopia on the path of environmentally sustainable economic development while offsetting the potential impact of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with Ethiopia’s ambitious growth plans by 2030. Future projections in the forest sector indicate that unless action is taken to change the traditional development path, an area of nine million ha might be deforested between 2010 and 2030.

One of the four pillars of Ethiopia's green grown strategy is focused on protecting and reestablishing forests for their economic and ecosystem services. Moving towards that goal, Ethiopia needs to focus on strengthening capacities of national and regional institutions to understand the multiple values of forests and forestry, to drive and coordinate the forest sector development, and to design a forest sector development model for the various regions and the nation at large.

with KFS minister2.jpgTherefore, in order to increase national and regional capacities to develop a forest sector strategy, Ethiopian government representatives with the support of the UN-REDD Programme, traveled to the Republic of Korea and China to learn from their inspirational models of reforestation and bamboo development.  The lessons learned and experiences shared during these knowledge exchanges, allowed the Ethiopian government and the political leaders from the various regional states to better understand the institutional context and political instruments that drive and determine national forest sector development and they have learned how to better assess and advocate for the value of forests and forestry as part of national socioeconomic development.  More specifically, Ethiopia learned from the Republic of Korea model of reforestation how to make the forest sector as one of the transformational tools that supports sustainable national development and from China how to optimize lessons on the management and utilization of bamboo resources.

Another key lessons learned from the experiences of the Republic of Korea was how to mobilize regional authorities to increase coordinated capacities to attract funding to engage in the investment phase, through nationally coordinated policies and measures, and how to better capitalize on organizational learning to enhance effectiveness, including partnership management in the forest sector. Lessons drawn from the practical experience of China have improved the understanding of the Ethiopian delegation of how to create an enabling environment for designing and implementing forest sector and bamboo development since bamboo is one of the tree species with large adaptation and mitigation potentials in Ethiopia.

The lessons learned will be a stepping stone to move forward Ethiopia’s forest sector through the development of a forest sector strategic roadmap and national bamboo development and utilization strategy which will be designed with clear vision and principles.

Finally, a critical outcome of this knowledge exchange was the strengthening of collaboration in the forest sector development with the establishment of a long-term cooperation agreement between the Republic of Korea and Ethiopia through the support of the UN-REDD Programme and UNDP Ethiopia.  A long-term triangular partnership agreement is being developed and negotiated focused on facilitating the brokering of knowledge and scaling up of successful best practices including technical and technological exchanges.


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