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A new project focusing on Community Seed Bank has been launched

by Mihret Lemma ~ February 2nd, 2021

The Community Seed Bank is one of the methods used to protect crops and horticulture, and is said to have been established to ensure crop security due to the drought in Ethiopia in the 1970s.

The new project, implemented mainly by the Ethiopian Institute of Biodiversity and the Directorate of Crop and Horticulture Biodiversity, is being implemented with the support of the Food and Agriculture Organization.

The project is named as National Community Seed Bank Platform for Strengthening Informal Seed System in Ethiopia.

Melese Mario (Dr.), Director General of the Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, said there are about 30 community seed banks under the institute. He added that keeping the existing crops in the hands of the farmers is multifaceted.

Project Coordinator Tamene Yohannes (Dr.) gave an overview of the project. According to the coordinator, the purpose of the project is to support the work of community seed banks, facilitate their connection with each other and exchange experiences.

According to the project coordinator, the project is one of the activities undertaken by researching and replacing lost crops, increasing women’s participation and making farmers more productive.

Finally, questions and constructive comments from the forum participants were answered.

The annual meeting of the National Committee of Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB)

by Mihret Lemma ~ November 27th, 2020

 

The annual meeting of the National Committee of Man and Biosphere Reserve (MAB) was held on November 10, 2020.

Ethiopia is known for its biodiversity and natural resources. Among these natural resources are the five biosphere reserves: Majang Forest, Yayu Coffee Forest, Keffa Forest, Lake Tana and Sheka Forest. The biosphere reserve has been registered under UNESCO World Heritage List at various times.

The purpose of the meeting was to discuss the current situation, challenges, opportunities and administrative experiences of the biosphere reserves, as well as to strengthen the work of the Man and Biosphere Reserve National Committee.

The Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute (EBI) is in charge of coordinating the work on these biosphere reserves and is conducting organizational awareness and research activities in collaboration with the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission.

The director general of the institute, Melese Mario (Dr.), said at the meeting that biosphere reserve plays an important role in In-situ biodiversity conservation.

The Commissioner of the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission, Prof. Fikadu Beyene, on his part said that the country’s biosphere reserves main objectives are conserving genetic resources and ecosystems, conducting scientific research and to ensure sustainable development for the surrounding communities.

Ethiopia has been working to establish a national committee comprising federal government offices, research institutes and universities, as well as professional associations, to implement the Man and Biosphere Program. In connection with this, a draft guideline and action plan on the biosphere reserve that the committee will work on has been prepared and discussed.

In addition, the conditions, achievements and challenges of the five biosphere reserves were discussed, and the annual meeting concluded with way forward and the approval of the draft guideline.

Workshop on Evaluation and Implementation of Ethiopian National strategy and action plan for conservation and sustainable utilization of animal genetic resource conducts.

by Dereje Taye ~ November 14th, 2018

Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, Animal biodiversity directorate in collaboration with African union Interafrican Bureau for Resource conducted two consecutive Workshops on Evaluation of the Implementation of Ethiopian National strategy and action plan for conservation and sustainable utilization of animal genetic resources from 5-6 November and 8-9 November,2018 at Adama,Dire International Hotel

Dr.Feleke woldeyes,deputy general Director of Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute, in his opening speech, stated that  Ethiopia is a country of great geographic diversity. The latitudinal variation of the country ranges from 126 mbsl  in the Danakil depression to the highest peak of 4,620 meters above sea level (masl) on Mount Ras Dashen so that the country is endowed with diverse ecosystems inhabited by an abundant diversity of animals genetic resources. The country’s geographical proximity to the historical entry point of many breeds in Africa specially Ethiopia to have diverse topographic and climatic conditions as well as the wide ranging production systems have further contributed to the existence of a large diversity of. Indigenous breeds of farm animal genetic resources are the one that focus on.

He also explains that Ethiopia is gifted country in animals genetic resources  but due to limited  awareness we did not let us conserve our genetic resource properly. Hence some of the genetic resources are in danger to extinct and he urged the participant to play their own part to conserve and utilize our resources properly.

Mr.Abreham Assefa, Animal biodiversity directorate director, presented on the title animal genetic resources, treats on animal genetic resources, major achievement in characterization,  insitu and exsitu conservation. In his explanation the country’s major animal production systems and related animal genetic resources, their diversity, conservation, utilization, relative importance, and provides an overview of the status.

Mr. Abebe hailu on his part explained about Ethiopian national strategy and plan of action for conservation and sustainable utilization of animal genetic resource. On his presentation he provides an overview of the present policies, strategies, programs and management practices; analysis of future demands, trends of animal products, changes in production systems and their impact on animal genetic resources. He also explains the assessment of the current and future national population along with the capacity building requirements to undertake activities related to animal genetic resources  opportunities, challenges and strategic priorities for action.

The researchers in directorate and invited researchers presented different title and discussed on the issues. Farm animals are an integral part of the Ethiopian agricultural fabric. They are the country’s source of food, raw materials, cash and foreign exchange earnings as well as its social and cultural identity. They are one of the input suppliers to the manufacturing sector of the country. The contribution of livestock to the total agricultural GDP and national foreign currency earnings for the country is very high.

Ethiopia needs to further develop efficient infrastructure to utilize its animal genetic resources opportunities. There is a need to urgently develop appropriate breeding programs for the different livestock breeds adapted to the different ecosystem. A top priority for the utilization and conservation of animal genetic resource in the country is the characterization of different species of farm animals and identifies merits of breeds.

 As researchers disclose there is a need for capacity building in farm animal use, development and conservation as well as implementing Animal genetic resources programs. The national policy on biodiversity conservation and development is formulated based on the rationale that the conservation of biodiversity is one of the conditions of overall national economic development.