HRF and EFCCC Collaborate to Heighten Environmental Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Efforts
Hailemariam & Roman Foundation (HRF) and the Environment, Forest & Climate Change Commission (EFCCC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to work together to bolster environmental conservation and sustainable ecotourism efforts in Ethiopia. The MOU was signed by HR Roman Tesfaye, the former First Lady of Ethiopia and CEO of HRF, and HE Professor Fekadu Beyene the Commissioner of EFCCC. HE Hailemariam Desalegn Former Prime Minister of Ethiopia who is the founder and chairperson of the board of trustees of HRF, and senior officials of ECCC and HRF attended the ceremony held on 7 December 2020.
The cooperation between HRF and EFCCC facilitates the preparation and implementation of a joint plan of action for biodiversity conservation and alternative livelihood development of communities in and surrounding five national parks in Ethiopia. By addressing poverty, a primary cause of environmental degradation through alternative livelihood development the cooperation will encourage socio-ecological harmony in and around the Omo, Mago, Maze, Chebera Churchura, Nechsar, and Gambella national parks.
Speaking at the signing ceremony HE Hailemariam Desalegn said ‘Ethiopia’s Environmental Policy and the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy provide a firm foundation for environmental protection and biodiversity conservation efforts. However, the visible gap in implementation has compromised the conservation and protection of our biodiversity’’. HE Hailemariam stated that the collaboration between HRF and EFCCC will advocate for the implementation of policies and programs pertinent to the environment and the enforcement of environmental protection laws.
HE Professor Fekadu Beyene, Commissioner of EFCCC on his part said the partnership with Hailemariam & Roman Foundation strengthens the work of the Commission on environmental conservation and alternative livelihood development by leveraging the knowledge, experience, and wider local and global networks of the former Prime Minister and First Lady of Ethiopia. The parties agreed to mobilize resources jointly to boost investment in environmental conservation and sustainable eco-tourism interventions. Facilitating technical support to enhance implementation capacities and scaling up of best environmental protection and biodiversity conservation practices are foreseen in the framework of the cooperation.
Ethiopia’s biodiversity is rapidly deteriorating with many species of flora and fauna on the verge of extinction. Increased population pressure and unsustainable consumption of natural resources are the main culprits of the national biodiversity loss. Environmental experts warn the few conservation areas and national parks sheltering the country’s biodiversity are vulnerable to destruction. Human settlements sprawling into the conserved areas and increased dependency of communities on natural resources are causing further loss of biodiversity and aggravated impacts of climate change. HRF’s intervention primarily focuses on building a healthy relationship between conservation areas and the communities living in and surrounding them. Sustainable ecotourism is a key measure promoted to empower communities to take charge of biodiversity conservation and to generate economic benefits from the natural environment. Improving the health and nutrition status of the communities in and around the national parks is integrated into the intervention to achieve HRF’s vision of creating healthy communities living in a sustainable environment.
Hailemariam & Roman Foundation
December 2020, Addis Ababa