Ethiopia has one of the largest forest resources in the horn of Africa. The highland
terrain combined with its location in relation to Atlantic and Indian Oceans has made
Ethiopia to receive higher moisture supply as compared to its neighbours. Over 50%
of Africa’s highlands are in Ethiopia making it one of the significant water towers on the
The forest resource of the country is classified into natural high forest, woodland, and shrub land (WBISPP, 2004). The highforests in Ethiopia cover about 4 million hectares or 3.56 percent of the area of the country. Some 95 percent of the highforest area is located in Oromia, SNNPR and Gambela Regions. In the context of REDD+, not only high forest, but also woodlands and shrublands are important forest ecosystems because together they represent about 80% of the carbon stocks in Ethiopia. The woodlands cover 29 million hectares (about 25%) and the shrublands 26 million hectares (23%). The Regions with the largest area of woodlands in order are Somali (45%), Oromia (34%), and Benshangul-Gumuz (8%). The largest area of shrublands are found in Oromia Region (29%), Somali (20 %) and Amhara (16%).
The WBISSPP also mapped 494,546 ha of lowland Bamboo, all of it in Beneshangul-
Gumuz Region; although small patches mixed in with woodland trees occur in
Amhara, Oromiya and Tigray Regions. The total area of planted forests is estimated at
216,000 ha and comprises industrial, fuel wood and communal plantations.
Currently available data indicate that Ethiopia has climate change mitigation
potential. The total forest carbon stock in Ethiopia is estimated at 2.1 CO2e (WBISPP,
2004). Another assessment estimated the CO2e in Ethiopian forest resources at 2.76
billion tons (Yitebitu Moges et al, 2010). Besides, over 90% of the Ethiopian
highlands form suitable place for forest development.