Forests4Future: Protecting forest landscapes through reforestation


Title: Country package Ethiopia Forests4Future
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Ethiopia
Legal executing agency: Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission in Ethiopia
Gesamtlaufzeit: 2020 to 2024

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Natural forest landscapes in Ethiopia are rapidly disappearing. At the start of the twentieth century, forests covered an estimated 40 per cent of the country’s surface area. Today the figure is between 2.7 and 4 per cent. The main cause of the decline in forests is the constantly increasing demand for firewood as a source of energy. 96 per cent of Ethiopia’s households use wood to meet their energy needs. After the land is cleared, small farmers frequently use it for agriculture. 

With a population of some 110 million, Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country, after Nigeria. According to the United Nations State of World Population 2018, annual population growth is around 3 per cent. Eighty per cent of Ethiopians live in rural areas and the majority earn a living from subsistence farming. Agricultural produce accounts for about half of Ethiopia’s gross domestic product (GDP). Population growth means that the available farmland must feed an increasing number of people. At the same time, forest clearance, overgrazing and non-sustainable arable farming are destroying this land. The loss of fertile land, advancing desertification and the consequences of climate change make productive land use difficult, especially in Ethiopia’s Highlands, which are particularly badly affected by erosion and deteriorating soil ecosystems.


International, national and local actors help restore forests and productive forest landscapes in Ethiopia – especially on Lake Chamo and in the Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples' Region.

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The project uses a results-based incentives system, in which the beneficiaries receive a payment following successful planting to bridge the time until they can earn their first income from the sale of timber. This encourages small farmers and private households to get involved in forest development and fosters the involvement of women and young people in income-generating measures. The project is also working strategically on developing actors’ forest landscape restoration (FLR) capacities. To this end, it is enabling employees of the Agricultural Transformation Agency and the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change within the regional and zonal administration to implement and monitor FLR measures. Furthermore, the activities from F4F contribute to Ethiopia´s ambitious pledge, to restore 15 Mio ha of land by 2030, in the context of the AFR 100 initiative.

Last update: February 2021

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