Action Against Desertification

Ethiopia and FAO accelerate implementation of Great Green Wall Initiative

Workshop to boost role of non-state actors and local communities in Action Against Desertification


Kombolcha – The Ethiopian Government and FAO renewed their commitment to the implementation of Action Against Desertification (AAD) project during a consultative workshop held on 20-21 February in Kombolcha to boost the role of non-state actors and local communities in preventing desertification and landscape rehabilitation along the Great Green Wall in Ethiopia. 

The workshop brought together over 70 participants from the Federal Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change of Ethiopia, the Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, NGOs, Civil Society Organizations, universities and research institutions, partners and relevant institutions of the regional governments of Amhara, Tigray and Afar. 

Addressing the workshop, Amadou Allahoury, FAO Representative in Ethiopia, said: “Desertification and land degradation are serious challenges in the three Regional States (Amhara, Tigray and Afar), which the project targets. Environmental challenges are the lead causes of drought and poverty, and are the root of many conflicts in these regions.”  He added: “Despite widespread deforestation and land degradation, the recent successes from the African Union’s Great Green Wall Initiative for the Sahara and Sahel (GGWSSI), show us that these challenges are not insurmountable and we can boost food security, improve livelihoods and reduce the vulnerability of people to climate change.”

Representing the Federal Ministry for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Dr. Tefera Mengistu, Forest Sector Development Programme Coordinator at the Ministry, underlined that sustainable land management is crucial to tackling the challenges the regions face from desertification and loss of biodiversity. He noted: “Integrated approaches to landscape management are necessary, as well as new policies, investments and capacities.” In this regard, he said, the project would continue to help the Ethiopian Government and communities to better manage their resources, use them to create jobs and generate income, and invest in them for future generations.”

The workshop, organized by Action Against Desertification in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, focused on enhanced participation of local communities and non-state actors in the implementation of the project, while also identifying livelihoods options for local communities. 

In Ethiopia, Action Against Desertification aims to improve the lives of over 250 000 people in rural areas by bolstering sustainable land management and restoring drylands, contributing to the fight against hunger and poverty, while fostering stability and building resilience to climate change.   

Background: Expanding Africa’s Great Green Wall 

Action Against Desertification (AAD) builds on the Great Green Wall for the Sahara and the Sahel Initiative (GGWSSI), Africa's flagship programme to combat the effects of climate change and desertification. AAD supports local communities, governments and civil society organizations in Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Niger, Nigeria and Senegal and Haiti in the Caribbean and Fiji in the Pacific in the sustainable management and restoration of their dryland forests and rangelands. It also promotes income-generation activities and the creation of employment opportunities in rural areas, especially for youth and women, based on the sustainable production, processing and marketing of agricultural products and forest goods and services. 

AAD is funded by EU and the Group of ACP countries and implemented by FAO in partnership with the African Union Commission, the governments of the concerned countries, the Global Mechanism of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), the Royal Botanic Gardens of Kew and the Walloon Region of Belgium, as well as other partners. 

For more information please contact:

Abebe Demissie
Communication Consultant
Tel. +251 11 6478888
[email protected]
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia