1. Background and Justification
Currently Ethiopia is faced with unprecedented environmental problems. The major environmental problem, however, is land degradation caused by inappropriate land use practices such as deforestation, over cultivation and overgrazing. Land degradation coupled with global climate change has led to disasters such as drought; floods etc. and take a heavy toll in different parts of the country. In this regard, the frequent droughts that hit the country and the recent catastrophic floods in Dire Dawa, South Omo, Awash, Amhara and Somali regions can be mentioned.
Pollution is also becoming apparent especially in urban areas. All these will affect production and productivity and will undermine the prospects for socioeconomic growth. Moreover, citizen’s right to live in a clean and healthy environment will be compromised. Providing solutions to these problems is beyond the capability of individuals and calls for concerted efforts by different stakeholders. Cognizant of this, some concerned environmental professionals decided to take the responsibility and establish the Environmental Society of Ethiopia (ESE) on September 22, 2006.
ESE is a non-political, non-profit making and non-religious professional society established as per the Civil Code and Regulation for Registration of Associations, Legal Notice No. 321/66 of Ethiopia. The Society shall have the following objectives:
To contribute to the environmental policy formulation capability and broadly to the environmental well-being of Ethiopia;
To promote the professional interests of its members;
To promote the study of environmental science in the country’s educational institutions;
To create awareness on environmental issues amongst the general public
To promote environmental research and assist in the dissemination of the findings of such research through, among others, publication of scientific journals, other documents etc.;
To provide fora for discussion of environmental issues;
To promote professional contacts between Ethiopian environmental professionals and their counterparts in other countries and;
To promote other objectives consistent with and supportive of the above objectives.
To fulfill the aforementioned objectives, it is imperative to build the institutional capacity of the Society. To this end, an ad hoc committee of founding members has been established and has prepared a short-term plan. The plan has two components. These are:
1. Organizing a founding conference and
2. Building the capacity of the Society with human resources and office equipment
To this effect, the following tentative schedule and the associated budget is prepared for the first component i.e. For Organizing the Founding Conference.