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Tigray Wins UN Gold Award for Development

ROME, Aug 22 Reuters – A major project to restore land in Ethiopia’s Tigray Region to boost millions of people’s ability to grow food won gold on Tuesday in a U.N.-backed award for the world’s best policies to combat desertification and improve fertility of drylands.

Tigray’s drylands, home to more than 4.3 million people, are being restored on a massive scale, said the World Future Council, a foundation which organised the award together with the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD).

The Tigray government has mobilised villagers to volunteer 20 days a year to build terraces, irrigation projects, build stone walls on mountains and hillsides, and other projects.

As a result, groundwater levels have risen, soil erosion has reduced, and people’s ability to grow food and gain an income has improved, the council said.

“Ethiopia’s Tigray region shows that restoration of degraded land can be a reality … The model provides hope for other African countries to follow suit,” Alexandra Wandel, director of the World Future Council, told the Thomson Reuters Foundation.

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Drylands, which cover nearly 40 percent of the Earth’s land, are particularly vulnerable to losing fertility through changes in climate and poor land use such as deforestation or overgrazing, the UNCCD said.

“Hundreds of millions of people are directly threatened by land degradation, and climate change is only going to intensify the problem,” Monique Barbut, under-secretary-general of the United Nations and UNCCD executive secretary said in a statement.

“So far, this underestimated environmental disaster has received far too little attention.”

Ethiopia’s Tigray region has, however, since 1991 managed to improve soil and water conservation, and closed off 1.2 million hectares of land to allow plants to regrow.

“The Tigray region of Ethiopia is now greener than it has ever been during the last 145 years,” said Chris Reij, desertification expert at the World Resources Institute.

“This is not due to an increase in rainfall, but due to human investment in restoring degraded land to productivity.”

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Over about 15 years, men, women and children moved at least 90 million tonnes of soil and rock by hand to restore their landscapes on about 1 million hectares, Reij said.

“In the process many communities have overcome the impacts of climate change,” he said.

Each year the Future Policy Award focuses on one world threat that will impact future generations. Past awards have been for policies covering children’s rights, ending violence against women and girls, disarmament, and protecting oceans.

This year’s silver award went to Brazil’s programme to build 1.2 million cisterns, helping millions of the country’s poorest people get water for drinking and for crops and livestock.

China’s 2002 law to prevent and control desertification – the world’s first such law – also won silver.

Source: reuters.com


  1. ይበልከስ!

    ግን በርግጥም Development is on the surface of TIGRAY Ethiopian earth፣ ወይንስ እንደ ልማዳችን በቪድዮ ጨዋታ ልንወናበድ ደግሞ…!?

  2. Very strange news. The news should have read, Ethiopia won gold for development or Tigray region of Ethiopia won gold for development. Are we now going to announce, Oromo region won for gold production? Tplf simply has no shame to assume it is running a parallel government.

  3. This is good news. I am happy Tigray region is so lush and colorful. The so called UN Gold award givers should of asked a simple question before handing the Gold award to Tigray authorities. How come the rest of the country is so downtrodden while Tigray state is becoming an oasis in the middle of a desert.
    The fact is simple. Every resource that is meant to be used where it is mostly needed is forwarded to Tigray. Remember, according to his wife the late PM Meles was formulating a 5 year plan for Tigray, not for Ethiopia. unequal privilege brings strife among people. For the TPLF fire and smoke is the guiding compass and they do not care for anything other than their own. Take a look who is in prison because of corruption. It is people who are beating them in their own games of hide and seek business model. Or those who were once in the inner circle of the TPLF and now thrown away like trash can by the regime. The companies that are now confiscated by the TPLF will be handed over back to the TPLF and its sympathizers. Here is a true story: A person who was in Germany went home and established a beautiful hotel in a small but vital area a while ago. He was doing well until the TPLF sent its auditors and tax collectors. After seeing the area and the attractiveness of the hotel and its environs, the TPLF cadres came up with a plan. The plan was to tell the person he owes the government half a billion Ethiopian Birr as a tax. He was stunned and told them, he does not have such an income let alone money to pay for tax. He was taken to court, the kangaroo court told him to pay otherwise the hotel will be auctioned off. He failed to produce the money and the hotel was sold to a TPLF person and to this day that hotel is operational. The owner of the hotel killed himself in Asosa sometime later. That is the behavior of the TPLF. I will close my comment with the below Amharic ቅኔና ወርቅ poetic expression.

    በቅሎ ከመንገድ ጠፍታኝ፣
    ኮርቻ ይዤ ስታዩኝ፣
    እስቲ ሁላችሁም አስታውሱ፣
    መርገፍ አለና እንዳትረሱ

  4. This is good news indeed. My many kudos go out to the industrious people of Tigray. I am sure this is an exemplary accomplishment that should be copied by all other people dealing with incessant drought. Way you go guys especially those fellow engineers!!! In the spirit of universal brotherhood of engineers, my hats off to you!!!!

  5. The title should be “Tigray, who siphons off every Ethiopian Resources, Wins UN Gold Award for Development”

  6. The news is that over 2 million cattle have died in south and southeastern Ethiopia. Can you imagine what that means to millions of rural population and soon to urban dwellers? Tplf on the other hand is unashamedly telling the world enormous of progress taking place. I see similarity with the situation just before the fall of Haile Selassie’s government. Another sign is that Berhane Gebre Kristos was replaced Seyoum as ambassador to China. Berhane is generally involved in moving money around. Tplf leaders are aware things have been unraveling inside of two years and putting in place escape routes. Another effective strategy has been placing Tplf members in key positions on influential international organizations. Check these: Haddis Tadesse with Gates Foundation and Africa Union. Mehari Tadesse. Mulu Ketsela. Neway Gebreab’s bid for AU Commissioner failed. Tedros’s for WHO was successful. Ethiopia as a nation with privileges is being used to promote Tplf agenda. Check Peace Foundation at Tufts, Alex de Waal addresses Meles as “comrade” and is involved in Meles Foundation. Alex hired Tplf Mulugeta and two others as Africa director and researchers. You can check foreign embassies in Ethiopia and see the hands of Tplf stayed against intetests of the country while painting a picture expats want to hear. Anyone witj a bit of sense and due diligence could connect the dots and see Tplf is a mortal enemy of Ethiopia. I am simply stating a reality most have failed to observe. This is not ethnic hatred. Tigrayans could and should hold jobs anywhere. The problem is when that privilege becomes exclusive to one group. Remember Tplf is the author of ethnic politics. Wake up. Join forces.

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