The CRGE as the New Development Paradigm in Ethiopia
The rationale for the adoption of the CRGE as a mainstream development strategy in Ethiopia has been recognition of the devastating impacts of climate change on such economies and the need to mainstream climate-sensitive strategy into the development agenda. Accordingly, over the past two decades, the country has made significant progress in poverty reduction through the implementation of national plans and strategic roadmaps that have explicitly recognized sustainability. A pioneer in the national plans is the Sustainable Development and Poverty Reduction Plan (1996 -2000), which later on was replaced by the Plan for Accelerated and Sustained Development to End Poverty I & II (PASDEP - 2001 - 2010). Building on gains from these two programs and led by a vision of becoming a middle income country by 2025 (GDP Per Capita of 1000 USD), Ethiopia is now undertaking the second phase of the Growth and Transformation Plan (GTP II) – a three stage national plan aimed at transitioning the agriculture based economy into an industry driven one in the period 2011 - 2025. Core to the GTP strategy has been the goal to achieve a middle income status by boosting agricultural productivity and strengthening the industrial base. The currently implemented GTP II intends to achieve 9 strategic goals, one of which is building a climate resilient green economy.
Although sustainable development has always been a crucial pillar in all 5- year national plans, the climate resilience imperative was explicitly recognized one year after the GTP-I in 2011.Among the actions taken by the government in terms of reaching this objective was the design and endorsement of the CRGE strategy in 2011. The strategy has three complementary objectives of fostering economic growth and development, transitioning into a green economy through abatement and avoidance of emission and improving resilience to climate change.
Accordingly, the CRGE strategy has identified a set of target sectors to foster economic growth through a carbon neutral path. These target sectors are: agriculture (crop and livestock), forestry, electricity, industry, transport and buildings. Within these sectors, the CRGE has also identified over 60 initiatives with at least 3 initiatives under each sector
The need for an M&E framework to support the implementation of the CRGE strategy
The successful implementation of these sectoral and cross sectoral initiatives, discussed in section 1.1., is contingent on a Monitoring and evaluation (M&E) system, which provides, government officials, development managers, and civil society with better means for learning from past experience, improving service delivery, planning and allocating resources, and demonstrating results as part of accountability to key stakeholders. The development of the M&E system is naturally preceded by the formulation of the CRGE strategy and its objectives, which we discussed above. The M&E system is essential to ensuring Ethiopia meets its CRGE vision, which is achieved through transparent and systematic data collection, analysis and reporting on the results of CRGE actions that the country will be able to track. In addition to showing accountability over results, the diligent practice of M&E supplies information to foster learning and improve the quality of decisions at various levels (project, programme and CRGE Facility-level).
Given this, the successful running of the M&E system would require a baseline data with sufficient coverage of the key aspets of the M&E system, a sufficent capacity to integrate the baseline data into an efficient M&E system, as well as a dynamic infrastructure to support these activities. The gap in the baseline data is a result of two sources. First the baseline data within the GTP II are such that there are many baseline statistics missing for the CRGE, which implies there is a need to generate CRGE-relevant indicators. Secondly, the M&E requires tracking performance of the CRGE activities, which calls for the development of performance indicator reference sheet. Third, there is a capacity building aspect of the M&E which is required for data management as well as communication. This calls for building infrastructure for M & E and enhancing capacity to run the infrastructure. As part of the capacity building execise, the dynamic links between the M&E and the other subsystems within the CRGE, such as the GHG inventory, MRV system, sectoral M&E systems need to be understood. Hence, this proposal sets out to form a clear understanding of the links between the M&E system and the other components of the CRGE as well as the role of the M&E system in the full functionality of the CRGE strategy. Fourth, there might also be a need to revise the GTP II indicators on two fronts: on the basis of them being unmeasurable due to lack of concrete data, and on the grounds of the targets being sets unreasonably high or low or the targets being measured in less than idealistic yardsticks, while potentally close yardsticks could be available. There could also be a need to drop indicators that we may not have information on.
Accordingly, this work sets out to produce the following key deliverables: baseline data for selected CRGE indicators, operationalising the baseline data through the formulation of database, production of a dynamic and user-friendly indicator performance reference sheet, capacitiy buildig, revision of the target indicators for the GTP II(replacing the missing ones with data for the M &E and baseline target data revision), and risk assessment and flexibility (mitigation).
Sustainable Forest Management as a key strategy in the CRGE
The forestry sector, together with the agricultural sector, accounts for around 80 percent of the total abatement potential. It is clearly indicated in the CRGE that protecting and re-establishing forests for their economic and ecosystem services, including as carbon stocks, is one of the four main CRGE pillars. Therefore, the government of Ethiopia believes that with the right interventions, the forest sector can significantly contribute to the goals set in the country’s CRGE, which aim for Ethiopia to become a middle-income country by 2025, resilient to climate change impacts and with a zero net increase in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
The essence of looking into Sustainable Forest Management, both in the context of the CRGE and in the context of the base-line data generation for the M&E, stems from the links forests have with the agricultural and energy sectors Well managed forests reduce soil erosion which will contribute to the increase in agricultural productivity. For example, it is estimated that the reduction in soil erosion will increase the value of agriculture and other sectors by USD 6.3 billion (UNIQUE, 2016). It has also an impact on the energy sector by reducing the siltation of major dams caused by more frequent and intense floods. Ethiopia is investing a huge amount of money in the energy sector and big dams are being constructed in order to satisfy the energy demand for its growing economy. Hence such the cross sectoral effects sustainable forest management may have makes sustainable forest management a sector worth focusing on in the CRGE strategy.
It should be underlined; however, that focusing on sustainable forest management as a way to generate valuable information that would potentially support the implementation of the CRGE strategy is just a starting point. All the other key CRGE sectors would also benefit from generation of such information. Indeed, a successful CRGE implementation would hinge on not a one-off and one-sector focused research, but an all-rounded, sectorally comprehensive research strategy with periodic follow-ups over the course of the implementation of the strategy.
 It should be noted that the activities in the proposed project are designed with a view of the GTP II timeframe and not that of the CRGE which runs up to the year 2025.
The other three are: Improving crop and livestock production practices for higher food security and farmer income while reducing emissions; Expanding electricity generation from renewable sources of energy for domestic and regional market; Leapfrogging to modern and energy‐efficient technologies in transport, industrial sectors, and buildings.