Climate change has been a prime global agenda since over two decades. The change in climate is caused by increasing greenhouse gas concentration in the atmosphere though fossil fuel burning and land use change including deforestation. During the last decade, the significant source of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation and forest degradation is being addressed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, through REDD program, with the aim of reducing the contribution from the forestry sector. REDD became REDD+ during the 16th Conference of the Parties in Cancun (2010), with the addition of activities aiming to conserve, sustainably manage and increase forest carbon.
The future of the Ethiopian forests including the relevant environmental services that they provide are increasingly under threat from human activities. These activities have negative impacts on biodiversity and hydrological services and also contribute to global climate change. The Government of Ethiopia declared during the 17th Conference of the Parties in Durban (2011) a new development model: a Climate Resilient Green Economy with a zero net emission by 2025. REDD+ has been integrated in this green economic growth model with a significant role to play in greening Ethiopian economy – about 50% of emissions reduction target between 2010 and 2013 is addressed though actions in the forest sector.
Ethiopia has been in the REDD+ process since 2008 and is now a REDD+ participant country to the Forest Carbon partnership Facility (FCPF) of the World Bank. The country created the REDD+ Secretariat to implement REDD+ Readiness Phase and coordinate all efforts related to REDD+ (forestry and climate change) and to deliver on the green economy vision. The Secretariat is technically supported by the Federal REDD+ Technical Working Group, and REDD+ Task Forces drawn from relevant stakeholders. Federal REDD+ Steering Committee is the highest decision making body on matters related to REDD+ in Ethiopia.