Ethiopia to Combat Deforestation and Boost Coffee Production

Joint press release with the Ministry of Planning and Planning

January 2, 2024

Left to right : Ms Charu Bist, UNDP Ethiopia Res Rep a.i. ; State Minister Semereta Sewasew, Ministry of Finance; Minister Girma Amente (PhD), Ministry of Agriculture; Minister Fitsum Assefa (PhD), Ministry of Planning and Development; State Minister Seyoum Mekonnen (PhD), Ministry of Planning and Development; State Minister Sultan Welle (PhD), Ministry of Water and Energy

Yohannes Balcha/UNDP

Addis Ababa, 2 January 2024 – The Government of Ethiopia, in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and with the support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), jointly launched a major project to tackle deforestation, promote forest restoration, and integrate sustainability into the country's coffee value chains and food systems.

The “Preventing Forest Loss, Promoting Restoration, and Integrating Sustainability into Ethiopia's Coffee Value Chains & Food Systems"(FOLUR) project was officially inaugurated by H.E. Minister Fitsum Assefa, PhD, (Minister of Planning and Development), H.E. Minister Girma Amente, PhD, (Ministry of Agriculture) H.E. State Minister Semereta Sewasew (Ministry of Finance) and Ms. Charu Bist, UNDP Ethiopia's acting Resident Representative, at the first FOLUR project Steering Committee Meeting held in Addis Ababa. 

The FOLUR project is implemented in 22 woredas of four regions: Oromia, Sidama, Central Ethiopia and Southwest region with a total budget of USD 20,842, 202 including UNDP’s contribution.

The project, running from 2023-2031, aims to adopt the National Integrated Land Use Policy and expected to have a significant impact in avoiding 7,288,195 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions, improving livelihoods for 440,000 people (50% female), restoring 10,500 hectares of unproductive coffee gardens, restoring, and managing 60,000 hectares of dry and moist Afromontane Forest and Bring 2,031,502 hectares of land under improved land use practices.

"The Ethiopian government is determined to take large-scale tree planting through our Green Legacy Initiative and landscape management actions, while efforts are ongoing to develop the integrated land use policy and planning. With this regard, the FOLUR project will contribute to the development of the national land use policy, the national forest sector development program, and the comprehensive Ethiopian coffee strategy,” Dr. Fitsum Assefa stated in her opening remarks while highlighting its direct impact in improving community livelihoods, supporting the Green Legacy initiative, and aligning with the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy and the updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC)”

"The successful implementation of the FOLUR project requires effective coordination and collaboration among all stakeholders. Thus, today's steering committee meeting marks a crucial step in that direction, bringing together key partners to discuss the project's next steps and ensure its successful implementation,” Dr. Fitsum Assefa further emphasized.

Ms. Charu Bist, UNDP Ethiopia's acting Resident Representative also highlighted the project's contribution to addressing global deforestation and improving livelihoods, underscoring its importance for a sustainable future. “The FOLUR project has a triple role in addressing global ecosystems; the opportunity to tackle deforestation, which leads to low crop production and food insecurity; accelerate sustainability through south-south cooperation with other 26 FOLUR Implementing Countries.”  

FOLUR will help translate Ethiopia's commitment to environmental sustainability and food security into prioritized action on the ground.