NbS for water resources infrastructure and community resilience in Ethiopia

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Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 13 August 2020 - Hydropower dams in Ethiopia have enormous economic, social and ecological benefits but their sustainability is threatened, inter alia, by unprecedented siltation. Hence, reclaiming degraded areas around the water reservoirs through afforestation and reforestation programmes is particularly important to build ecosystem, social and infrastructure resilience while contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. The Nature-based solutions for water resources infrastructure and community resilience in Ethiopia intervention, therefore, seeks to contribute to the sustainable management of the surrounding catchment areas of the selected hydropower dams through nature-based solutions. The proposed interventions are particularly relevant to both the resilience building and the green growth components of the nation's Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy.

The livelihood of local communities will be improved through temporary job creation, provision of energy-saving stoves and the provision of goods and services such as fruit, fodder and other non-timber forest products from trees. The interventions will also counteract the effects of deforestation and climate change and are in-line with the Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Green Legacy Initiative. The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa in collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy will be the principal implementers of the project. It will also forge a partnership with UNEP, zonal/wereda natural resources department, local communities, development partners, and other relevant international organizations. The estimated cost of implementing the proposed interventions is 2.79 million USD over a period of four years.

Objectives

The overall objective of this project is to use nature-based solutions to build the resilience of infrastructure, communities and ecosystems in the surrounding catchment areas of selected hydropower dams in Ethiopia. The specific objectives are to:

  1. Increase carbon sequestration by managing planted indigenous and exotic tree species during the 29 July 2019 Green Legacy Initiative campaign;
  2. Rehabilitate degraded lands through the construction of various soil and water conservation structures; 
  3. Build the resilience of infrastructure, ecosystems and local communities by reducing siltation and improving the livelihoods of households through the provision of energy-saving stoves and other livelihood options (e.g., fruit trees, fodder trees, beehives);
  4. Enhance the capacity of institutions and local communities involved in the project implementation through various interventions;
  5. Reduce the carbon footprint of ECA and related UN operations in Ethiopia through a carbon-offsetting scheme.