An Environment and Climate Research Center (ECRC) to engage in undertaking policy oriented research inside the Ethiopian Development Research Institute (EDRI) as an input for policy makers, was officially launched last Monday February 23, 2015.
The center was established in partnership between the EDRI, Environment for Development Initiative (EfD) and Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI). It will be built upon EDRI’s long-running collaboration with EfD in Environmental Economics research.
The establishment of the center was initiated more than a year ago within EDRI with the main aim of helping attain the target of the government of reaching middle income country status by 2025 in a green and climate resilient way by providing research based findings, according to Haileselassie Medhin, (PhD) coordinator of establishment process of the center and researcher at EDRI.
ECRC’s core functions include undertaking policy-oriented research on the economics of climate and environment in Ethiopia, conducting real-time impact evaluation of the Climate Resilient Green Economy (CRGE) strategy’s implementation process, and serving as an interaction hub for research and policy, according to the statement from the center.
It is overseen by a steering committee (SC), which has three members including Newai Gebreab, executive director of EDRI and economic advisor to Prime Minister Hailmariam Dessalegne in the rank of minister, Gunnar Kohlin (PhD) director of EfD and Myung Kyoon Lee (Prof) director of Knowledge Services Department at GGGI.
The center will also have a National Advisory Committee (NAC) with representatives from government offices and non-government stakeholders involved in the design and implementation
of the CRGE strategy including ministries, government agencies, universities and research institutions, civil society and the private sector.
The Centre expects to involve more than 40 fulltime and par time researchers in the planning and implementation of its programs, most of them are PhD holders and trained in different international academic institutions, according to Haileselassie.
The CRGE strategy was initiated in 2011 with the ambition of making the country, which has a low carbon emission, a middle income economy by 2025. And has been driven by seven sectoral teams involving 50 experts from 20 leading government institutions under the leadership of the Prime Minister’s Office, including the Environmental Protection Authority, and the EDRI.
“The center will finalize the plan which will lead to implementation by July, 2015 and will be fully operational by the beginning of the 2016,” Haileselassie told Fortune. “The center by itself will source its budget from different institutions by proposals of the researchers,’’ he added.
The Norwegian government, through the GGGI, will contribute 500,000 dollars for the planning phase, according to Melaku Gebreeyesus, Advisor of GGGI in Ethiopia. EfD will also make a significant core support to the center, and also continue its support to specific research projects, according to Haileselassie.
Research focus areas of the center include sustainable environment, sustainable agriculture, forestry, industrial and climate policy, urbanization, water and energy. The center will work with the Ministry of Environment and Forestry, Ministry of Irrigation, Water and Energy, Ministry of Industry and local and international universities.
The combination of EfD’s academic excellence and a rich network of local and international scholars, GGGI experience in global policy process, and EDRI’s critical mass of highly qualified researchers and central place in Ethiopia economic policy research will be instrumental for the center to achieve its objectives according to Haileselassie.
The ECRC functions will be delivered as four main programs: Policy Research and Impact Evaluation program, Policy Interaction and Communication program, Data Management and Knowledge Repository program and Capacity Building program; each overlooked by the director of the center.
As of last Wednesday February 25, 2015 Haileselassie, who played a critical role in the establishment of the center, was assigned as a director of the ECRC.
EfD currently has research centers hosted by academic and research institutions in nine countries including Ethiopia. It has been working with the EDRI for the past 10 years since the institute was
established while GGGI has been supporting the Government of Ethiopia in both the Green Economy and Climate Resilient components of the CRGE strategy.
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