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Priority project deforestation and food systems in Ethiopia

The local government, in collaboration with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Global Environment Facility, introduced the initiative “Prevent forest loss, promote restoration and integrate sustainability into Ethiopian coffee value chains and food systems” (Folur).

Minister of Planning and Development Fitsum Assefa reiterated the government's decision to plant trees on a large scale as part of the Green Legacy Initiative and landscape management measures, while making efforts to develop integrated land use policy and planning.

Assefa, speaking at the first meeting of the Folur Steering Committee, highlighted the challenges posed by deforestation and land degradation, which are exacerbated by climate change and demographic pressures.

These problems are straining the country's natural resources and livelihoods, particularly in coffee-growing areas, he warned.

He viewed the new initiative as a crucial step in addressing these complex challenges and as a contribution to the development of Ethiopia's national land use policy, the national forestry sector development program and the comprehensive coffee strategy.

According to the Ministry of Planning and Development, the project is expected to have a significant impact, with the aim of avoiding seven million 288,000 195 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions, improving the livelihoods of 440,000 households and restoring 10,500 hectares of unproductive coffee plantations.

Likewise, it will enable the restoration and management of 60,000 hectares of dry and wet Afromontane forest and the application of improved land use practices on two million 31,502 hectares.

For her part, UNDP Representative in Ethiopia, Charu Bist, reiterated the project's focus on the country's climate resilience efforts and also highlighted its contribution to combating global deforestation and improving livelihoods, as well as its importance for a sustainable future.

Folur is a testament to Ethiopia's commitment to environmental sustainability and its vision to build a prosperous and resilient future for its citizens. By working together, the government, partners and local communities can ensure the success of this initiative and contribute to a healthier planet and a prosperous coffee sector, according to the government portfolio.