Forestry policies, institutions and programmes


The forest sector is the responsibility of the Forestry and Wildlife Conservation and Development Team within the Ministry of Agriculture. This team is responsible for, among others, formulation of land use policy and draft laws and legislation on conservation and sustainable utilization of the country¿s forest and wildlife resources at the central level. At the regional level, the regional Bureau of Agriculture is responsible for management and administration of forests. In the Oromiya region, an independent and autonomous organization (Rural Land and Natural Resources Administration Authority), established in 2002, is responsible for the forest sector.

The Ethiopian Forestry Action Programme (EFAP) was finalized in December 1994. Three regions identified actions, strategies and specific projects that address their priorities in forest conservation and development. With the institutional reforms, the EFAP secretariat was reorganized and reformulated within the Ministry of Agriculture¿s Team for Forest and Wildlife Conservation and Development, so the team is now responsible for EFAP-related activities.

Forestry sector policies include the regulatory framework for the management and development of public forest lands and the utilization of public forests; policies governing the pricing and marketing of forest products; and polices concerning the management of public enterprises and the development of private-sector forestry. Significant progress has been made in reorienting forest polices and strategies to help lay the foundations for sustainable forest management.

Proclamation No. 94/1994 provides for the conservation, development, protection and utilization of the forest resource. This proclamation recognizes three types of ownership of forest land, classifying forests as State forests, regional forests and private forests. It is the responsibility of the State and regional governments to designate, demarcate and register State, regional and protected forests.

State and regional forests are utilized in accordance with management plans. Cutting of trees, grazing of domestic animals, beekeeping activities and harvesting of any other forest products require a written permit from the appropriate regional government or ministry. Proclamation 94/1994 also specifies that forest development should be conducted to benefit the local people. It is generally prohibited to cut, utilize the products or perform activities in forests which are designated as protection forests.

NGOs, both local and international, are advocating participatory forest management, but it is still at the infant stage. In addition, access rights have been recognized for the local communities which are supported by the current draft forest policy. Efforts are also being made to develop means of considering the opinion of the local communities in decision-making. There is increasing concern on how to meet the needs and respect the rights of indigenous people who are forest dependent.

The forestry sector has received technical and financial assistance from a number of multilateral and bilateral agencies. Major multilateral agencies, including the African Development Bank, the World Bank and the Danish aid agency (DANIDA) have been involved in fuelwood plantation and biomass energy related projects. The European Union (EU) and World Food Programme are mainly oriented towards environmental rehabilitation. The United Nations Development Programme, FAO, the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (SIDA) and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) have been associated with assistance to forestry and soil conservation research activities. Of the bilateral agencies, SIDA and GTZ have been the most involved in forestry training, research and planning and in general forest conservation and development activities. However, there have been no measures to monitor and evaluate the impact of the various interventions in the country because of the low capacity of the sector.

With regard to regional cooperation, modest cooperation efforts have been made in the areas of forest industries development, forest product trade and marketing, etc., involving some regional organizations.

However, the external assistance that has been supplied to the forestry sector is inadequate and more assistance is urgently needed.

Last updated: March 2004

last updated:  Friday, February 19, 2010