ADDIS ABABA, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Clime change-induced impacts have greatly affected Ethiopia as the East African country in recent years witnessed flooding, drought and food insecurity, an official at the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Office in Ethiopia has said.
"Climate change impacts have greatly affected Ethiopia in terms of flooding, drought and food insecurity," a UNEP statement quoted Margaret Oduk, Program Coordinator at UNEP's Liaison Office to the African Union Commission (AUC), the UN Economic Commission for Africa, and Ethiopia as saying on Friday.
According to Oduk, clime change-induced impacts have affected both Ethiopian lowland and highland areas, in which Ethiopian lowland areas are experiencing increased temperatures and prolonged droughts affecting livestock rearing, while highland areas are also experiencing more intense and irregular rainfall, which together with high temperatures resulted for decreased agricultural production.
"In 2017 alone, the country lost over 2 million animals due to drought," Oduk said, as she emphasized that environmental degradation has contributed to reduced land cover and protection against soil erosion, which in turn is further reducing forest cover, which was exacerbated by increased human use of land, unsustainable agricultural practices, indiscriminate grazing of animals and the collection of firewood for household energy.
The East African country, aware of the impacts of clime change, has recently embarked on an ambitious tree-planting initiative, which was part of the Ethiopian government's aspiration to plant 4 billion trees through a project dubbed "Green Legacy."