ADDIS ABABA Aug. 24 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) has pledged to build Ethiopia's capacity toward biodiversity conservation through enhanced management of protected areas.
The UNDP and the Ethiopian government on Thursday signed a project agreement that envisages building Ethiopia's capacity for biodiversity conservation through increased effectiveness of protected area management and implementation of measures to reduce illegal wildlife trade and poaching.
The project, which seeks to implement solutions to counter biodiversity threats, has already received close to 7.2 million U.S. dollars from the Global Environment Fund (GEF) and 200,000 U.S. dollars from the UNDP, while 34 million dollars will be allotted by the Ethiopian government, the Ethiopian Ministry of Finance and Economic Cooperation (MoFEC) said during the signing ceremony.
Admassu Nebebe, Deputy Minister of MoFEC, said the project's four major components include protected area management and biodiversity conservation, implementation of anti-trafficking measures, landscape approach to forecast and agro-biodiversity conservation.
The Ethiopian government attaches paramount importance to the project and considers it as one of the projects that enhance the country's development endeavors, said Nebebe.
The project also aims to combat illegal wildlife trade, especially in the preservation of the decreasing population of elephants that have been targeted for illegal trade, it was noted.
The project will be implemented in partnership with the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA) in five national parks in Ethiopia that have the largest elephant populations in the country, it was indicated.