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Statement delivered by Mr. Huruy Asgedom

Statement delivered by Mr. Hurui Asgedom, Director General of Agricultural Extension in the Ministry of Agriculture during the UNCCD 12th Session


Mr. Chairman
Honorable delegates
Invited guests
Ladies and Gentlemen

At the outset, on behalf of the Eritrea Delegation, I would like to congratulate our current chairman
on his election. I also would like to express my profound gratitude to the Government of Turkey for hosting this important global event and for their cordial reception in this beautiful city of Ankara.

Mr. Chairman as previous speakers have already highlighted, we are all here to do our level best to
create a world of neutral land degradation. And this noble objective can only be achieved if every country
and people do their part.

Eritrea, as country located in the drought prone of Africa which experiences very little and erratic rains cannot be happy with business as usual, it can only survive and thrive practicing business unusual.
The motto which drive our people to put great effort to restore and enhance the environment are

A, “We have not inherited this planet from our ancestors; we have borrowed it from our children”.

B, “Let us keep our farmlands rich (i.e. with neutral land degradation) and the rest green”.

Mr. Chairman
Honorable Delegates

Because of our prevailing climate condition the government and people of Eritrea are doing commendable job in the area of soil and water conservation. The cause of land degradation and desertification are many and that is precisely why our communities are launching multiple interventions to address the root causes.

1. Mitigating the Impacts of poor and Erratic Rains – we are mobilizing our people to construct micro dams, ponds and check dams in order to harvest rain water across the country for small scale but intensive
and integrated agriculture to restore the respective micro environment and ensure people’s livelihood as well as securing food and nutrition at a house hold level.

We are also embarking on rational utilization of the harvest water employing the technique of micro irrigation powered by alternative energy like solar which is abundant in our country. This technology will not only help us in saving the most precious water but will also contribute toward the enhancement of the environment, because of the clean and green energy factor.

2. Conducting Extensive Soil and Water Conservation Programs to Combat Erosion and land Degradation
– Every community in Eritrea undertakes on regular basis terracing, closure establishment, tree planting etc. in order to treat and rehabilitate the catchment.

They also do contouring, embankment around the contour, pouching along the contour in the farmland in order to retain every drop of rain on the farm and to minimize run off and eventual erosion and land degradation.

When it comes to tree planting every community has its own nurseries of native varieties and exotic varieties that have already to the particular environment for a long time.
In some cases degraded land is given to exemplary individual farmers in order to turn it around to a productive piece by employing all their ingenuity and creativity. This practice has proven to be successful over the years.

3. Combating Deforestation – In Eritrea, over 85% of the household energy comes from biomass. This situation, as can be appreciated had a serious impact on deforestation until no. providing alternative energy had a serious impact on deforestation until now. Providing alternative energy in the short term is not realistic. However, the research unit of the department of energy has come up with an energy saving stove which use only 50% of firewood compared to the traditional one.

This stove is distributed throughout the country both in rural areas thus relieving the pressure on deforestation. The other factor which was contributing to extensive tree cutting, but is fast changing is building traditional house. This practice use to demand a lot of trees mainly for roofing and support
poles which is now replaced by corrugated iron sheets, tile roofing and either concrete different type of iron bars etc…

4. Institutionalizing of Climate smart Agriculture and Building Resilience

As was mentioned earlier in my speech, our planet belongs to the future generation and it is precisely for this reason that the youth must be proactive when it comes to conserving and enhancing the ecosystem.

In Eritrea, junior and senior highschool student are deployed in summer campaigns which include terracing, digging holes, planting, land, water and environment, education and local government are establishing “green clubs” in school starting from the elementary level.

They start by greening their own school compounds and the surrounding areas, but most important they develop positive attitude towards greening their neighborhood and the country at large.

Through time it becomes a culture. Infact very soon the environment is going to be an integral part of the curriculum in schools all the way from kindergarten.

This institution building in school overtime will generate young minds in building copping mechanism and resilience to combat erosion, land degradation and desertification which eventually lead to a land degradation neutral Eritrea.

To watch the detailed activates carried out in Eritrea please visit our pavilion at any time during the conference.

Thank you for your attention!!
Ankara, Turkey

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