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Ethiopia Launches New Sustainable Intervention for Green Cities Development

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Ethiopia have officially launched a new intervention that will enhance the linkage between urban waste management and greening six cities around the country.  The urban climate change mitigation program, known as Creating Opportunities for Municipalities to Produce and Operationalize Solid waste Transformation (COMPOST), has received close to USD 7 million from the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and UNDP.

Ethiopia is Africa’s second most populous country and plans to achieve a middle income country status with a carbon neutral economy by 2025. According to the latest available data, urban dwellers make up 18% of the country’s population and the migrations into cities is expected to continue leading to more burden in energy demands.

These biomass energy demands by urban dwellers have in the past traditionally led to forest and land degradation. The new intervention seeks to target 17,000 hectares of land for afforestation, thus helping Ethiopia sequester significant greenhouse gas emissions.

The COMPOST program that will be implemented over the period of five years (2017-2021) will support Ethiopia’s ambition to build a carbon neutral economy by helping the country to strengthen national capacity to monitor and report on reductions in carbon emissions. After signing the agreement H.E Ato Admasu Nebebe stated that "The Ethiopian Cities have faced critical challenges in the management of solid waste value chain and in implementing and sustaining urban green infrastructure.”

Today as the adverse effects of climate change becomes more acute, UNDP continues its engagement in climate change adaptation and mitigation programs providing support to the Government of Ethiopia in mobilizing resources to realize its bold ambitions of becoming a carbon neutral middle income country by 2025 and meet its commitment to SDGs,” underlined Mr. Samuel Bwalya, UNDP Ethiopia Country Director, at the signing of the project document today.

H.E Mr.Demise Shito State minister, Urban Development & Housing also add “we strongly believe that, preparing compost on a large scale from solid waste makes a great contribution to the implementation of the environmental protection and greenery development by reducing green gas emissions and increasing the fertility of the soil.”

COMPOST will also help create new jobs, particularly for youth and women as well as SMEs and the private sector in general to work in recycling and an expanding sustainable compost market to support urban agriculture as well as urban forests.