The newly established Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC) at the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) presented its five-year research plan and program to stakeholders at a consultative workshop held February 23, 2016, at Hilton Hotel, Addis Ababa.
Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC) is a new research center established in partnership with the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI), Environment for Development Initiative (EfD) and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). The research center will support green and climate-resilient development as a knowledge back stop.
A workshop with a theme “Toward Developing Long-term Policy Research and Impact Evaluation Program in Support of the CRGE Strategy” was held where ECRC presented its well-tailored and customized five year research plan focusing on four core programs namely: Policy Research and Impact Evaluation(PRIE); Policy Interaction and Communication(PIC); Data Management and Knowledge Repository(DMKR); and Capacity Building(CB) with primary goal of supporting the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) visions .The center’s director, Dr. Haileselassie Medhin presented the overall draft programs and the modalities of executing these core programs.
The opening session had a welcoming remark by Dr. Gebrehiwot Ageba, director of Programmes(EDRI), followed by an opening speech by the international renowned award winning environmentalist and former Environmental Protection Authority(EPA) director , Dr. Tewolde Berhan G/Egziabher. In his speech he recognized the relentless efforts that the country is currently undertaking in areas of climate change and emphasized the need to support these efforts with real time research for policy makers and implementing sectoral agencies. He also said that the country is prone to various climate variabilities and that it needs a concerted effort to overcome these challenges. He said the current El Nino phenomenon would have been much worse and devastating if there had been no climate action in place. He underpinned that long term evaluation is indispensable for the continuing usefulness for strategies like the CRGE.
The keynote address by His Excellency Belete Tefera(Advisor to the Prime Minister with a rank of Minister), entitled ‘climate change and natural resource management: Challenges and opportunities in the context of Ethiopia’ discussed the overall country experience of climate change and the various interventions that were put in place to overcome the challenges. His Excellency emphasized the limitations the country has in areas of human capital, technology, and finance to undertake the various interventions in adaptation projects such as rehabilitation and management of degraded landscapes and natural resources. Nevertheless, he said, the government mobilized millions of people to rehabilitation works in hectares of degraded landscapes of Ethiopia and has shown encouraging results.
The policy research plans were then presented following the discussion on the overall draft research program. The research plans were presented by the ECRC researchers in the following order:
- Research plans on energy, forestry, agriculture and water by Dr. Alemu Mekonnen
- Research plan on sustainable industrialization by Dr. Mulu Gebreeyesus
- Research plan on sustainable urbanization by Dr. Firew Bekele
- GAINS Ethiopia Research(GER)project Proposal by Dr.Andrew Kelly
The afternoon session presented a panel discussion chaired by Dr. Alemu Mekonnen (ECRC/EDRI) with panelist comprising Dr.Gunnar Kohlin(EfD),Melaku Gebreyesus(GGGI),Dr. Wubalem Tadesse(EEFRI),Adugna Nemera(CRGE Facility),and Dr. Klaus Deininger(World Bank) to reflect on their perspectives to the research plans presented by ECRC. Questions and answer session followed after the presentations and the workshop ended with final remark made by Dr. HaileSelassie Medhin, (director,ECRC) highlighting the need for collaboration and partnership for undertaking ECRC research activities. It is believed that this workshop will help ensure that the center’s research program generates knowledge that will contribute to the success of the CRGE vision. Participants discussed thoroughly on each detailed research plan providing valuable feedbacks, suggestions, and recommendations to further revise and fine-tune the structured research programs. The more pronounced comments from participants include modalities on how to avoid duplication of efforts as there are various research centers conducting similar studies and the issue related to ECRC to focus more on macro strategic policy research than micro level research.
The workshop was attended by high-level government officials, researchers, and experts from various ministries, universities, national and international research institutes, international organizations and partner institutes and embassy representatives.
The workshop was recognized and reported on in a range of Ethiopian media such as The Daily Monitor and The Ethiopian Herlad
By: Yitatek Yitbarek
Photos: Karin Jonson