Symposium on Environment and

Symposium on Environment and Development Opens at the Ghion Hotel


Addis Tribune, September 15, 2000


By Our Staff Reporter


A two-day symposium on environment and development opened today at the Ghion Hotel. The symposium which is organized

by the Forum for Social Studies, (FSS) an independent research institution, was opened by Girma Biru, Minister of Economic

Development and Co-operation, and is being attended by policy planners, civil society organizations, environmental advocacy groups, the business community, professionals and academics, donors and international organizations and the state and private media.


The symposium will be debating a wide variety of important subjects, including government environmental policy, indigenous conservation practices, women's contribution of environmental management, the problem of the commons, the urban environment, NGOs and environmental protection, and the media and environmental awareness and advocacy, the FSS has disclosed in a press release.


"It is hoped that he symposium will help stimulate greater public concern about the environment. The outcome of the debate in these two days will, we hope, help further sensitize decision-makers about the complex nature of environmental change and the need for sound and sustainable conservation programs," says the release.




According to the Forum for Social Studies press release, the debate on environmental change in Ethiopia has been going on in earnest since the 1980s when the previous government, the Derg, embarked on a massive program of conservation, based mainly on food-for-work schemes. The total food and non-food resources invested in the program from the mid-1970s to the end of the 1980s may well reach one billion U.S. dollars, all of which was provided by Western donors. At the beginning of the 1990's, when the Derg regime collapsed, many of the environmental assets created in these years were demolished by irate peasants and others, it was learnt.