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Wild life policy and strategy

ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY OF ETHIOPIA

I.      THE RESOURCE BASE AND THE NEED FOR A POLICY

1.1   The Natural Resource Base and the Rural Environment

Natural   resources ar the   foundation o the    economy Smallholder peasant agriculture, in some areas including forestry, is the dominant sector accounting for about 45 per cent of the GDP, 85 per cent oexports and 80 per cent ototal employment. Agriculture ha also   been th main source of th stagnation and variability in GDP growth caused in the main by policy failures and exacerbated by recurrent drought, civil war, natural resource degradation, and poor infrastructure.

Renewable natural resources, i.e. land, water, forests and trees as well as other forms of Biodiversity, which meet the basic needs for food, water, clothing and shelter have no deteriorated to a low level of productivity. Iman areas of highland Ethiopia, the present consumption of wood is in excess of unaided natural sustainable production. Estimates of deforestationwhich is mainly for expansion of rainfed agriculture, vary from 80,000 to 200,000 hectares per annum.

The burning of dung as fuel instead of using it as a soil conditioner is considered to cause a reduction in grain production by some 550,000 tonnes annually. In 1990, accelerated soil erosion caused a progressive annualos in grai production estimated a about 40,00 tonnes, which unless arrested, will reach about

170,000 tonnes by 2010. Livestock play a number of vital roles in the rural and national economy but according to one estimate some 2 million hectares of pasture land will have beedestroyed by soil erosion between 1985 an 1995. Land degradation is estimated thave resulted in a loss of livestock production in 1990 equivalent to 1.1 million tropical livestock units (TLUs), and, unless arrested, will rise to 2.0 million TLUs or to 10 per cent of the current national cattle herd by

2010.

In economic terms, soil erosion in 199was estimated to have cost (in 1985 prices) nearly Birr 40 million in lost agricultural production (i.e. crop and livestock) while   th cost of burning dun an cro residues as fuel was nearl Birr 650 million. Thus in 1990 approximately 17 per cent othe potential agricultural GDP was lost because of physical and biological soil degradation.

The permanent loss in value of the country's soil resources caused by soil erosion i1990 was estimated to be Birr 59 million. This is the amount by which the country's soil "capital" should be depreciated in the National Accounts owhich should be   deducted (a capital depreciation) fro th country's Ne National Income (NNI).

The Ethiopian ForestrActio Program (EFAP) estimated the fulvalue of forest depletion in 1990 to have been about Birr 138 million or some 25 per cent of the


potential forestry GDP of Birr 544 million.

Despite the presence omineral resources in quantities and qualities suitable for exploitation, they currently contribute only about 2 per cent of the GDP Only 1 per cent of the potential of Ethiopia's vast water resources for irrigated agriculture and hydropower generation have been developed. Thenergy sector is one of the least developed in the world with 90 per cent of needs being met from biomass fuels, particularly wood, charcoal an anima dung. Th genetic diversitof Ethiopia's domesticated plants and its unique flora and fauna is increasingly being eroded because the long history odisruptive interventions by the state and the weakening of local management in the face   of an expanding population and the increasing needs of agriculture.

1.2 The Urban Environment

The current urban proportion of the population is relatively low at only 15 per cent although the annual rate of growth is 5.4 per cent and this rate is likely to rise to

30 per cent by the year 2020.

The current stock of urban housing iboth insufficient and of very poor quality. About 31 per cent of households in Addis Ababa have no sanitation facilities, while in other urban areas the proportion is about 48 per cent. The serious deficiencies in sanitatioservices an th inadequacy of sewerage infrastructure an random defecation in urbaareas have created dangerous health an environmental problems. Riverand streams in the vicinity of Addis Ababa and other large urban centres have become open sewers and are one of the main sources oinfections resulting in diarrhoea and other diseasesPrivac is almosimpossible as many latrines are shared among many people and even simple doors are often absent.

1.3 Natural and Cultural Heritage

Ethiopia's ricnatural and cultural heritage permeates every facet of daillife and provides a powerful and socially cohesive force in the national consciousness. It can also provide a major attraction fotourists and is an important element in the development of tourist industry. However, much of this heritage and culture is under threat through neglect, decay, removal or destruction as well as through the les visible and tangible impacts of changing socio-cultural values, foreign ideas and imported technologies.

1.4 The Need for A Policy on Natural Resource and the Environment

Th Government of   th Federa Democratic Republi of   Ethiopi (FDRE) has establishe a   macr economi policy   and   strateg framework. Sectoral development policies and strategies have been, or are currently being, formulated. Environmental sustainability is recognized ithe constitution and in the national economic policy and strategy as a key prerequisite for lasting success. However,


there is ayet no overall comprehensive formulation of cross-sectoral and sectoral issues int a polic framework on   natural resources an th environment to harmonize these broad directions and guide the sustainable development, use and management othe natural resources and the environment. Therefore, given the currenstage o th country's politica an polic development, th tim is opportune fo developing   a  comprehensiv environmental policy   o natural resources and the environment.

II.       THE POLICY GOAL, OBJECTIVES AND GUIDING PRINCIPLES

2.1   The Overall Policy Goal

The overall policgoal is to improve and enhance the health and quality of life of all Ethiopians and to promote sustainable social and economic development through the sound management and use of natural, human-made and cultural resources and the environment as whole so as to meet the needs of the present generation without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.

2.2    Specific Policy Objectives

The Policy seeks to:

a. Ensure that essential ecological processes and life support systems are sustained, biological diversity is preserved and renewable natural resources ar used i such way    that thei regenerative and productive capabilities are maintained and where possible enhanced so that th satisfactioof th needs of future generations is not compromised; where thi capability is   already impaired t seek through appropriate interventions a restoration of that capability;

b. Ensure that th benefits fro th exploitation o non-renewable resources are extended as far intthe future as can be managed, and minimize   the negative impacts of their exploitation on the us and management of other natural resources and the environment;

c. Identify and develop natural resources that are currently underutilized by finding new technologies, and/or intensifying existing uses which are not widely applied;

d. Incorporate th full economic, socia an environmental costs and benefits of   natura resourc developmen into   the    planning, implementation and   accounting processe b comprehensive valuatioof th environmenan th services it provides, an by considering th socia an environmental costs an benefits which cannot currently be measured in monetary terms;

 

e. Improve the   environment o human settlement t satisfy the physical, social economic cultura and   othe need of   their inhabitants on a sustainable basis;

f. Prevent the pollution of land, air and water in the most cost-effective way so that the cost oeffective preventive intervention would not exceed the benefits;

g. Conserve, develop, sustainably manage and   support Ethiopia's rich and diverse cultural heritage;

h. Ensure th empowerment and participation of the people and their organizations at all levels in environmental management activities; and

i. Raise public awareness and promote understanding of the essential linkages between environment and development.

2.3 The Key Guiding Principles

Underlying thes broad policy   objectives are   number o key    principles. Establishing and clearly defining these guiding principles is very important as they wilshape all subsequent policy, strategy and programme formulations and their implementation. Sectoral and cross-sectoral policies and environmental elements of other macro policies will be checked against these principles to ensure consistency.

The Key Guiding Principles are:

a.        Every person has the right to live in a healthy environment;

b. Sustainabl environmenta condition and    economi production systems arimpossible in the absence of peace and personal security. This shall   be   assure throug the   acquisitio of   powe by communities tmake their own decisions on matters that affect their life and environment;

c. The development, use and management of renewable resources shall be based on sustainability;

d.        The us of non-renewable resources shall be minimize and where possible their availability extended (e.g. through recycling);

e. Appropriate an affordable technologies which us renewable and non-renewable resource efficiently shall   be   adopted adapted, developed and disseminated;

f. When a compromise between short-term economic growth and long- term environmenta protectio i necessary the development activities shall minimize degrading and polluting impacts on ecological an life support systems. Whe workinou a compromise, it is better t er o th sid o caution t th extent possible as rehabilitating a degraded environment is very expensive, and bringing back a species that has gone extinct is impossible;

g. Full environmental and social costs (or benefits foregone or lost) that ma result through damage to resources or th environmenas a result of degradation or pollution shall bincorporated into public and private sector planning and accounting, and decisions shall be based on minimizing and covering these costs;

h. Market failures with regard to the pricing of natural, human-made and cultural resources an failures i regulatory measures   shal be correctethrough th assessment an establishment of use fees, taxes, tax reductions or incentives;

i. Conditions shalbe created that will support community and individual resource users to   sustainably manage thei ow environment and resources;

j. As key actors in natural resource use and management, women shall be treated equally with men and empowered to btotally involved in policy, programm and   projec design decisio making    and implementation;

k. The existence of a system which ensures uninterrupted continuing access to the same piece(s) oland and resource creates conducive conditions for sustainable natural resource management;

l.        Social equity shall be assured particularly in resource use;

m. Regula an accurate assessment an monitoring of environmental conditions shall    be    undertake and    the    information   widely disseminated within the population;

n. Increase awarenes and   understandin of   environmenta and resource issues shall be promoted bpolicy makers, bgovernment officials and by the population, and the adoption of "conservation culture" in environmental matters among all levels of society shall be encouraged;

o. Local, regional and international environmental interdependence shall be recognized;

 

p. Natura resource an environmental management activities shall be integrated laterally across all sectors and vertically among all levels of organization;

q. Species and their variants have the right to continue existing, and are, or may be, useful now and/or for generations to come;

r. The wealth of crop and domestic animal as well as micro-organism and wilplant and animal germplasm is an invaluable and inalienable asset that shall be cared for; and

s. The integrated implementation ocross-sectoral and sectoral federal, regiona and   local    policie and   strategies shall   b seen as   a prerequisite to    achievin the   objective o this   Polic o the Environment.



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