Tigray project wins gold for land restoration

12 Sep 2017

A project in the Tigray Region of Ethiopia has won a United Nations-backed gold award for greening its drylands, beating 26 other nominated policies to the prize.

Also known as the “Oscar for Best Policies”, the Future Policy Award, organised by the World Future Council and the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), highlights the world’s policies that best combatted desertification and land degradation this year.

“Tigray’s win of the Gold Future Policy Award is sending a strong, empowering message: they show how a small region in a climate vulnerable country can find a smart and highly effective way to successfully address a global challenge. This is placing Ethiopia firmly on the map as an environmental leader.”

Alexandra Wandel, Director and Vice-Chair, Management Board of the World Future Council.

This award recognises the work of the Tigray regional government, which has mobilised villagers to volunteer 20 days a year to build terraces, irrigation projects, build stone walls on mountains and hillsides, and other projects, to restore land on a massive scale. As a result, erosion has decreased significantly, groundwater levels are recharged, and the uptake of sustainable agricultural practices made a significant contribution to food self-sufficiency and economic growth.

Since 1991 Tigray has managed to improve soil and water conservation, and closed off 1.2 million hectares of land to allow plants to regrow.

“Ethiopia’s Tigray region shows that restoration of degraded land can be a reality …The model provides hope for other African countries to follow suit,” Alexandra said to Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“The Tigray region of Ethiopia is now greener than it has ever been during the last 145 years,” said Chris Reij, desertification expert at the World Resources Institute. “This is not due to an increase in rainfall, but due to human investment in restoring degraded land to productivity.”

During the award ceremony, held at the 13th  session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNCCD in Ordos, Inner Mongolia (China), H.E. Abay Weldu, President of Tigray State, said, “I am honoured as head of the Regional Government of Tigray knowing that Tigray has won the Gold Future Policy Award 2017. The people of Tigray demonstrate that all challenges can be overcome if the leadership is addressing the will, need and priority of the people. Tigray’s people have proved that development is possible without harming our mother Earth.”

The ceremony was attended by 300 high-level guests and ministers from all over the world.

The Future Policy Award is the only award which honours policies rather than people on an international level. Each year, the World Future Council chooses a topic for the Future Policy Award on which policy progress is particularly urgent. In 2017, in partnership with the UNCCD, laws and policies were evaluated that contribute to the protection of life and livelihoods in the drylands, and help achieve Sustainable Development Goal 15, target 3, to “combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods, and strive to achieve a land degradation-neutral world.”

 

People of Tigray (Ethiopia) turn the desert green again

Latest News

Browse all
From June 1, all international visitors to Ethiopia can apply for their visa online. This new initiative will promote tourism, trade, and investment to the country.
5 Jun 2018
Ethiopia launches e-visa service to all international visitors
The triumphant entry of the EPRDF forces into Addis Ababa on 28th May 1991 marked the closing of a turbulent chapter of Ethiopia’s history, and the opening of a new one that paved the way for the adoption of an all-inclusive federal and democratic system.
27 May 2018
Reinvigorating Democracy Through Reform
Manchester Airport secures landmark route into the heart of Africa, underlining its pivotal role in connecting the North to the world’s most important markets. Ethiopian Airlines will operate a four-times-a-week service to Addis Ababa from 1st December 2018.
14 May 2018
Ethiopian Airlines comes to Manchester Airport opening up Africa to the North
PM Abiy Ahmed's tenure as Prime Minister of Ethiopia has been characterised by a renewed sense of hope and determination in the country. In an effort to address public grievances the new Prime Minister has engaged in a series of public consultations while setting out the vision for reform going forward.
8 May 2018
Premier appoints new Cabinet, sets out early Reform Priorities
The weekly publication from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia.
20 Apr 2018
A Week in the Horn
PM Abiy appoints 16 cabinet ministers as part of the reform process to address public grievances.
19 Apr 2018
PM Abiy Announces New Cabinet
On 5th April, the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) opened its Maqdala 1868 exhibition, a year-long display of 20 Maqdala artefacts, seized by British troops 150 years ago at the Battle of Maqdala. World-wide media attention for restitution has been prolific since then and continues apace.
16 Apr 2018
150th anniversary of the Battle of Maqdala commemorated in London
Founded in 2010, EthioChicken took over an under-performing poultry production centre in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia, increasing production more than thirty-fold within a year. It has since expanded into four regions of Ethiopia, with production centres nationwide. We recently caught up with Joseph Shields, General Manager of EthioChicken, for an exclusive interview.
11 Apr 2018
EthioChicken wins FT’s Boldness in Business Award: Exclusive Interview
In recent weeks, an extraordinary set of meetings, involving members of the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), have been taking place in Addis Ababa. The meetings, of both the Executive Committee and the Council of the Front, have spent the last few weeks deliberating on the current state of affairs in the country while appraising the progress of…
9 Apr 2018
Election of New Premier Represents Major Milestone for Ethiopia’s Democracy
PRESS RELEASE Spurred by the prevailing exemplary relations between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) and the Government of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Ethiopian Embassy in London has been engaged proactively with the Victoria and Albert Museum, London (V&A) in an effort to explore avenues for cooperation. To this end, the Embassy warmly welcomes and greatly appreciates…
5 Apr 2018
Ambassador Hailemichael opens ‘Maqdala 1868’ display at the V&A