Africa draws inspiration from China to curb desertification


ADDIS ABABA, Oct. 6 (Xinhua) – China’s experience with reforestation and combating desertification has been a great inspiration to Africa, which must curb the alarming expansion of the Sahara Desert, experts said Ethiopians.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently estimated that by 2030 Africa will lose two-thirds of its arable land if the march of desertification is not stopped in time. .

“African countries must take a strategic approach and interventions to combat desertification, as desertification has become overwhelming, especially in sub-Saharan Africa,” Adefris Worku, an Ethiopian forestry expert, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

China’s remarkable achievements in successfully restoring its lost lands as part of its massive reforestation efforts can help African countries achieve their reforestation ambitions, he said.

According to the expert, Africa can learn from China, ranging from promoting clean energy, climate finance, sharing technology and knowledge and practices on landscape restoration.

“One of the things that we see as an opportunity is that China has seen the issue of climate change as a very important agenda, it is really a very good and appreciated development,” said Worku, who works as Forestry expert at the Environment, Ethiopia Forestry and Climate Change Commission.

He said desertification in Africa is mainly caused by collecting fuelwood due to lack of access to energy sources, and China can help African countries develop clean energy mechanisms.

“Unless Ethiopia and the rest of Africa promote the use of clean energy technologies, there is no way to stop forest degradation and deforestation,” he said.

Across Africa, China’s support is already propelling ongoing efforts to promote forestry and mitigate the adverse effects of climate change.

In Ethiopia, China-backed satellites are helping fulfill the country’s aspiration to build an economy that is environmentally friendly and resilient to climate change.

“We expect the use of satellite imagery to have an impact on the agricultural sector, including monitoring and taking the necessary actions in relation to climate change,” Abdissa Yilma, director general of climate change, told Xinhua recently. Ethiopian Institute of Space Science and Technology.

In December 2019, Ethiopia launched its very first satellite abbreviated ETRSS-1 with support from the Chinese government. A year later, Ethiopia launched the second China-backed satellite, abbreviated ET-Smart-RSS, from the launch site of China’s Wenchang spacecraft.

Despite the daunting challenges, African countries have launched a number of ambitious initiatives to contain the rapid expansion of desertification.

The Great Green Wall Initiative, which was launched by the African Union in 2007, with the overarching goal of planting a wall of trees across Africa on the southern edge of the Sahara Desert, is a led initiative by Africans which aims to restore Africa’s degraded landscapes. .

Worku said Ethiopia, as one of the signatory countries of the initiative, sees this ambitious project as “a very important and relevant strategy to combat desertification and ensure the sustainable development of the country”.

“We need China’s technologies and resources to develop the degraded landscape,” Worku said.


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