Ethiopia map

Ethiopia has 31 endemic species of mammals and is a global center of avian diversity. To date, more than 856 bird species have been recorded in Ethiopia, twenty of which are endemic to the country. Sixteen species are endangered or critically endangered. Historically, throughout the African continent, wildlife populations have been rapidly declining due to logging, civil wars, pollution, poaching, and other human factors. A 17-year-long civil war, along with severe drought, negatively impacted Ethiopia's environmental conditions, leading to even greater habitat degradation. Deforestation is a major concern for Ethiopia, as studies suggest loss of forest contributes to soil erosion, loss of nutrients in the soil, loss of animal habitats, and reduction in biodiversity. At the beginning of the 20th century, around 420,000 km2 (or 35%) of Ethiopia's land was covered by trees, but recent research indicates that forest cover is now approximately 12% of the area. Current government programs to control deforestation consist of education, promoting reforestation programs, and providing raw materials which are alternatives to timber. In rural areas, the government also provides non-timber fuel sources and access to non-forested land to promote agriculture without destroying forest habitat. (Wikipedia)

Quick Facts

Land use

Total land area
100,000,000 hectares
Area of forest
12.5% of land area
Area of agriculture
36.3% of land area
Area of permanent cropland
1.1% of land area


99.4 million
Population growth
2.5% annually
Rural population

Economics and development

GDP per person
619.10 USD
GDP from agriculture

Climate change and biodiversity

CO2 emissions
0.10 metric tonnes per person
Threatened animal and plant species
Bonn Challenge Commitments
Goal year
Date committed
Area committed
15,000,000 hectares
Potential economic benefit
4,710 million USD
Potential climate benefit
1.42 GtCO2 sequestered
Main forest types
Savannah and dry grasslands
Subtropical dry broadleaf forest
Highlighted benefits
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National Restoration Targets
Total restoration target
14,302,200 hectares
Readiness Preparation Proposal (R-PP) – FCPF
Restoration target
531,200 hectares
Readiness Preparation Proposal: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (2011)
  • REDD+ Pilot Projects (p. 206-
    • Humbo CDM Reforestation Project
      • The Humbo project is a community-managed reforestation project in Humbo, Ethiopia. 
      • The project has been hailed as a highly successful example of a development reforestation project that benefits the environment through improved natural resource management and increased biodiversity.
      • Project size: 2,728 ha 
    • Non Timber Forest Product (NTFP) project 
      • Operational since 2002 in Ethiopia and Tanzania.
      • The objectives include: conservation through the establishment of sustainable forest management systems. 
      • Project size: 347,381 ha
    • Bale Mountains National Park (BMNP) 
      • The goal is to implement a REDD project to protect and rehabilitate the natural forests in the Bale Mt. Eco-Region of Ethiopia. 
      • The project will develop community based organization (CBO) forest management, joint forest management (JFM) and forest enterprise management (FEM) systems to reduce deforestation and to enhance carbon stocks by adopting sustainable forest management (SFM) practices 
      • Project size: 500,000 ha
    • Abote District project 
      • Afforestation/reforestation
      • Project size: 2,000-3,000 ha
    • Ada Berga District
      • Afforestation/reforestation
      • Project size: 500-6,000 ha
    • Sodo Farmers
      • Natural Regeneration & Agro-forestry project  
      • Project size: 2,200 ha
    • Amhara National Regional State (under discussion) 
      • Afforestation/reforestation project 
      • 20,000 ha 
    • Yayu & Gedo 
      • REDD+ based project initiatives in Ethiopia 
      • 190,000 ha
    • Baro-Akobo 
      • REDD+ based project initiatives in Ethiopia
      • 7,600,000 ha
REDD+ Strategy
National REDD+ Strategy (2014)
  • Re-afforestation of degraded forests will also be carried out to create additional carbon within the existing degraded forests. Physical and biological conservation measures will be integrated with afforestation and reforestation activities to improve survival and productivity of established forests (p. 27).
  • Fast growing timber and short rotation fuel wood species will be promoted for commercial plantations. As small scale intervention, agroforestry woodlots will be promoted around homesteads and on-farm tree planting will be encouraged to create sustainable source of fuel wood (p. 28).
National Forest and/or Climate Strategy and/or Low Carbon Development Strategy
Restoration target
13,771,000 hectares
Ethiopia’s Climate-Resilient Green Economy: Green Economy Strategy (2011)
  • Forestry: Protecting and re-establishing forests for their economic and ecosystem services, including as carbon stocks:
    • Increase afforestation, reforestation, and forest management to increase car- bon sequestration in forests and woodlands. These initiatives would result in an increased storage of carbon in Ethiopia’s forests, provide a basis for sus- tainable forestry, and even allow the forestry sector to yield negative emis- sions, i.e., store more carbon in growing forests than are emitted from defor- estation and forest degradation (p. 24).
    • Promoting area closure via rehabilitation of degraded pastureland and farmland, leading to enhanced soil fertility and thereby ensuring additional carbon sequestration (above and below ground) (p. 25).  
  • Abatement Levers:
    • Reduced forest degradation. This focuses mainly on reducing the demand for fuelwood through dissemination of a wide range of efficient cooking and baking technologies. With a total abatement potential of around 50 Mt CO2e, this is the largest set of levers identified across all sectors (p. 105). 
    • Increased sequestration: This contains mainly large- and small-scale affore- station/reforestation/area closures and forest management of woodlands and forests. Covering an area of 7 million ha in total (by 2030), this set of levers promises an abatement potential of 42 Mt CO2e. Today, several projects to increase the forest cover by afforestation or reforestation are already ongoing. In addition to afforestation/reforestation, sustainable agro-forestry and protected-area management can provide additional levers to increase sequestration (p. 105). 
  • Forestry lever 5 – Large- and small-scale afforesta- tion/reforestation and area closure
    • Afforestation/reforestation area. Based on consultations with forestry experts, existing afforestation/reforestation projects, and discussions in the STC, it was assumed that 2 million hectares of pastureland will be afforested up to 2030. At the same time, Ethiopia will reforest 1 million hectares of degraded areas (p. 110). 
  • Forestry lever 6 – Forest management 
    • Projected area coverage. Based on interviews with experts, experience from existing forest management projects, and discussions in the STC, the area for the management of forests and for the management of woodlands was set at 2 million hectares each. 
  • All Forestry Initiatives Finance Required: $7.9 billion to 2030 (p.115)
The Great Green Wall for Sahara and Sahel (Ethiopia) (2007)
  • The Great Green Wall is a pan-African proposal to establish a green belt of planted trees across the Sahel-Saharan region in order to battle desertification and land degradation.
  • The initiative aims to support the efforts of local communities in the sustainable management and use of forests, range lands and other natural resources in dry lands. It also aims to contribute to climate change mitigation, improve food security and livelihoods of people in the Sahel and the Sahara. 
  • In Ethiopia the GGWSS programme is expected to further reinforce the government’s Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) Strategy, of which REDD+ is an integral part.
Ethiopia’s Fifth National Report to the Convention on Biological Diversity (2014)
  • Report on the implementation of the first half of the Strategic Plan 2011-2020 (2011-2014)
  • Implementation of the Convention
    • Rehabilitation and restoration: about seven million hectares of degarded area has been rehabilited using area closure. Moreover, forest management plans have been prepared for 1.4 million hecatres of natural forests and about 2.9 million hectares of land has been afforested with different tree species (p. vii).  
  • Rehabilitation and restoration 
    • During this period (2009 and 2013), soil and water conservation schemes have been carried out in 57,000 community based watersheds that cover about 13 million hectares of land. The soil and water conservation structures have been supported with biological soil conservation measures such as planting of multipurpose trees, shrubs and grasses (p. 30). 
    • In the last five years, forest management plans have also been prepared for 1.4 million hecatre of natural forests. Moreover, about 2.9 million hectares of land have been afforested with different tree species. In years 2011 through 2013, for example, a total of 16.8 million seedlings of indegeneous and exotic trees have been planted in various parts of the country. Consequently, rehabilitation, restoration and afforestation schemes that have been implemented so far have made large contribution to enhance biodiversity and increase the forest cover of the country (p. 30). 
  • Strategic goals, targets, actions, implementing agencies and period of implementation
    • Target 5: By 2020, over exploitation of biodiversity and ecosystems are reduced (p. 61)
      • Actions: Promote afforestation and use of non-wood forest products 
    • Target 10: By 2020, contribution of biodiversity for ecological services, including climate change adaptation and mitigation is improved through increasing forest cover from 12% to 14%; increased designation of wetlands from 4.5% to 9.0% and doubling restoration of degraded areas (p. 65)
      • Actions: Increase area under forest cover by 2% through afforestation and re-forestation; Increase restored area of degraded land from 10 to 20 million ha; Generate incentives for the local communities through REDD+ from high forests, woodlands and traditional agroforestry 
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