Ethio Wetlands and Natural Resources Association (EWNRA) conducted a Phase III project launching workshop today in Jimma Honey Land Hotel. Invited guests from Federal Environment Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC) as well as Oromia, SNNPR, Gambella regional, zonal, and wereda level stakeholders have joined the workshop. Ato Kabtamu Girma Director General Forest protection & Conservation Directorate in his opening speech said that EWNRA is striving to develop forests of the southwest Ethiopia and bring back its previous natural beauty. He said this workshop demonstrates the great effort made in the previous phases and the enthusiasm to work better during the new phase. Ato Sisay Kasahun Development Fund of Norway (DF) Program Country program coordinator on his part said The Development Fund has been operating in Ethiopia since 1978 and opened its office in 2007. DF is currently working in 7 regions of the country (SNNP, Oromiya, Amhara, Tigray, Afar, Somali and Gambella).
The main thematic areas of DF are: 1. Food security and nutrition, 2. Climate change adaptation, 3. Alternative income generation activities, 4, Inclusion of marginalized communities (Women, youth, people with disabilities and minorities). In relation to PFM and REDD+ DF has supported three phases: Phase I (2013-2015), phase II (2016-2020) and phase III (2021-2025). The fund was obtained from Norad according to the coordinator. He has also mentioned that there is need from all stakeholders specifically on three main areas: 1) creating similarities of approached and synergies among various development efforts, 2) Facilitate conditions for the timely accomplishment of project activities and 3) include the activities in the government plan, sustain the project results and scale out to additional area as the projects life is limited to short period of time with limited budget.
Ato Ahmid Said EWNRA Forest Program Coordinator on his part while explaining the objective of the workshop said that the workshop will help to attain common understanding on opportunity and perspective of phase III project and to strengthen collaboration among stakeholders during the implementation of the project. He also said that the workshop will be a platform where participants share the best lessons learnt during the phase II project implementation and reach on consensus on how to sustain project results.
The one day workshop will continue this afternoon with different presentations and general discussion.