Ethiopia: Country Poised to Celebrate First Earth Day

16 04 2009

Addis Abeba — Earth Day 2009 will be celebrated in Ethiopia for the first time in Ethiopia as the country scales up efforts towards the maintaining and conservation of the natural environment, the ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) said on Tuesday.

The day to also mark the beginning of the Green Generation Campaign in the country is being organized by a committee drawn from health, environment and community development professionals, including stakeholders and Ethiopia’s development partners.

Earth Day is a global phenomenon that began 39 years ago, with the goal to highlight the importance of protecting our environment and how doing so will benefit human health and communities, Dr. Abera Deressa, State Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development (MoARD) said at the joint press conference held at his office with Oxfam America Regional Director and Addis Ababa University Horn of Africa Region Environmental Center Director. The state minister said, day would the general public with the opportunity to learn how their health and community’s well being is dependent on the protection of our natural environment. He said activities planned will focus on informing the Ethiopian population on the current environmental challenges Ethiopia is facing, what the government, institutions and individuals are doing about it, and how each Ethiopian can get involved in creating a “Green Generation “in Ethiopia.

The Green Generation includes ordinary people who are engaged in individual and collective activities to improve their health, to improve their schools, to participate in building a solution to urgent national and global issues, such as climate change or the world water crises.

This two-year initiative will culminate with the 40th anniversary of Earth Day in 2010.

With negotiations for a new global climate agreement coming up in December, Earth Day 2009 must be a day of action and civic participation to defend the Green Generation’s core principles including: a carbon-free future based on renewable energy; an individual’s commitment to responsible, sustainable consumption; creation of a new green economy that lifts people out of poverty by creating millions of quality green jobs and transforms the global education system into a green one.

Under the umbrella of the Green Generation, thousands of events are currently being planned in schools, communities, villages, towns and cities around the world.

Earth Day activities will provide opportunities for participants to look at the challenges Ethiopia faces from a holistic perspective and discuss what is being done, how each challenge can exacerbate one another, and what we can do to partner and support solutions that address interdependency of these challenges, the organizers said.

It also aimed to foster partnership, dialogue and understanding among communities, development practitioners, education and research institutions, donors, media, and the government to understand and address the interdependence of humans, environment and development and provide an opportunity for organizations working in all sectors to discuss their work and the issues that will have an influence on the environment, health and development issues.

Source: All Africa

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