Eritrea demonstrating commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality (LDN) by 2030
Geographically, Eritrea is located in the Sahel region which is prone to drought and erratic rainfall. This situation is aggravated by climate change. Hence, sustainable land management issues assume great importance for countries like Eritrea whose economies highly depend on agriculture.
Taking this reality into account, the Government of Eritrea, right after independence, massively invested in the agriculture sector in order to restore, sustain and enhance the productive functions of the country’s natural ecosystem resources.
Community-based afforestation and soil and water conservation have become routine activities of the people, and the government aims at conserving and rehabilitating the land that has been degraded due to climatic conditions, deforestation, overgrazing, over cultivation, soil erosion and decline of soil fertility. Research shows that managing land more sustainably reduces the rate of degradation.
Students have been engaged for more than 20 years in afforestation and soil and water conservation programs in their summer break, and many students have been organized in green clubs to promote tree planting in their school premises.
To strengthen the land rehabilitation programs in a systematic and vigorous way, the Government of Eritrea declared a Greening Campaign on May 15 2006, at a national greening conference attended by H.E. Isaias Afwerki, President of the State of Eritrea.
As per the resolution of the conference, all Eritrean regions are involved in various land rehabilitation campaigns mainly in soil and water conservation as well as tree planting activities. During the national greening day, the campaign’s performance in all regions of the country is thoroughly assessed and awards are given to exemplary individuals and institutions.
Thanks to this campaign, so far more than 41 million trees have been planted on 16,000 hectares of land. More than 150,000 energy saving stoves have been distributed all over the country. Permanent and temporary enclosures are increasing in number; and farmers are benefiting by feeding their animals by cut and carry system. More than 300,000 hectares of land is under enclosure.
To address the negative effects of climate change, the government of Eritrea has been involved in soil and water conservation schemes and construction of dams and diversion structures. Over 600 different sized water reservoirs have been constructed in the past 26 years.
To optimize the utilization of harvested water and increase cycles of crop production, irrigation equipment producing factory has been built and started production.
Moreover, farmers are introducing contour farming and farmland levelling to conserve soil and water to enhance productivity Moreover, farmers are introducing farming and farmland levelling to conserve soil and water to enhance productivity of the land. The farmers, satisfied with the outcome of these activities, are now replicating these activities. Nationally about 100,000 hectare of farmland has been treated by various soil and water conservation schemes, which boosted production by 30-40 percent.
Through endeavours undertaken all over the country the government and the people of Eritrea are demonstrating their commitment to achieve Land Degradation Neutrality by 2030. The government is also committed to involve all relevant sectors to meet the target. That’s why Eritrea signed the UNCCD in 1995 and ratified the convention in 1996.