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NewsSpecial Fund in pipeline to finance Green Legacy, restore degraded lands

Special Fund in pipeline to finance Green Legacy, restore degraded lands

Proclamation seeks up to one percent of annual budget

The federal government is considering the establishment of a special fund to mobilize resources and finance Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative and rehabilitate degraded lands.

The ‘Green Legacy and Degraded Landscape Restoration Special Fund Establishment and Administration’ proclamation tabled to the House of Peoples’ Representative (HPR) this week seeks the formation of a permanent source of financing and new budgetary scheme for greenery projects.

It proposes to utilize between 0.5 and one percent of the total annual federal budget for this purpose. The draft also states reforestation initiatives will be financed through support from development partners, civil society organizations, and the private sector.

Experts from the Ministry of Finance and Ethiopian Forest Development drafted the legislation under directions from the Office of the Prime Minister.

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Projects included under the bill would seek to duplicate lessons from the ‘Sheger Beautification’ initiative in Addis Ababa in regional states. Investments in the deduction of Ethiopia’s carbon stock, rehabilitation of degraded landscape through assisted natural regeneration, afforestation and reforestation, enhancing the sustainability of seedlings planted under the Green Legacy initiative, supporting urban beautification and creating job opportunities included in the plans.

Implementing projects that protect dams and water bodies from various challenges is also part of the aspirations.

The annual allocation of budgets to the Special Fund will be determined by Parliament, while regional administrations will be responsible for designing projects and tabling budget proposals to the Ministry of Finance yearly. The Ministry will recommend budget allocations to Parliament after evaluating proposals, according to the draft.

The Ministry is also set to develop a new budget sharing formula to equitably distribute funding to regional administrations. The formula will have to be approved by the House of Federation, which will make do with existing budget sharing schemes until then.

Regional states will receive disbursals from the Fund based on performance progress, and regional administrations are expected to earmark additional financing for projects using their own resources.

The Fund itself will be managed by an executive organ composed of representatives from the ministries of Finance, Agriculture, and Planning and Development, as well as the Ethiopian Forest Development and the finance bureaus of regional and city administrations.

A steering committee also will be established at the national level, according to the draft.

Federal officials hope the Fund will play a key role in sustaining gains achieved under the Climate Resilient Green Economy Strategy (CRGE).

[speaker]
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