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UNEP says Green Legacy Initiative an exemplary restoration project

Addis Ababa, August 22, 2023 (FBC) – The Ethiopian Green Legacy Initiative is a wonderful example of a great restoration projects that benefits people, nature and biodiversity, according to United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP).

The 19th ordinary session of the African Ministerial Conference on the Environment (AMCEN) was held in Addis Ababa last week.

The focus of the conference was to strengthen collaboration among the various institutions and enhance implementation of regional and global environmental frameworks in order to address the environmental challenges facing the continent.

On the sidelines of the meeting, UN Environment Programme (UNEP) Ecosystems Director Susan Gardner told ENA that the program was at the conference to clearly show how importantly and urgently support for climate action is required.

That means financing which comes from the public sector as well as the private sector. “We need immediate de-carbonization, while at the same time we need to ensure that there’s a balance of mitigation support as well as adaptation support,” she added.

According to her, investing in nature, having restoration programs that actually bring ecosystem services back to support people are more resilient economies and more adaptive and better landscapes that can support the people.

In this regard, Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative “is a wonderful example of a great restoration project that benefits people as well as nature and bio-diversity.”

The director noted that looking at how this has been run in terms of working closely with local communities, who not only have been consulted and engaged in the design of this project but also part of implementing the actual program, they have received the benefits.

“It’s an excellent example of working in cities as well as across the whole areas to bring nature and the services ecosystems provide to the people in terms of a broader climate strategy. So, it’s an excellent example where all UN system has been working together to support Ethiopia in this really wonderful project.”

Gardner said we can bring in all the different UN agencies that have different mandates and relevant to a restoration project such as the Green Legacy Initiative.

In some cases, it’s about engaging the local community and helping to empower women, young people, indigenous people, and communities to engaged in a project like this.

Sometimes, for example, from the UN Environment Programme, we bring a lot of scientific knowledge that can be translated into actual policies that have action on the ground.

She further pointed out that from all the different UN agencies across our mandates, we all have a role to play together to provide a one UN approach that provides the best support to Ethiopia.

In UNEP, the director stated that the program has decades of experience of evidence and good scientific demonstrated projects where having restoration as part of a broader climate strategy can actually improve livelihoods for people.

By investing in nature, we can actually help to make more resilient economies and communities, she stressed.

Ethiopia’s environmental protection activities being carried out through its Green Legacy Initiative, a flagship program initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in June 2019, is believed to boost bio-diversity in addition to its contribution to ensuring food security of the country.

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