The Swedish Ambassador to Ethiopia, Mr. Torbjörn Pettersson has visited Majang Forest Biosphere Reserve in Gambella Peoples National Regional State on the 12-13th October 2018. Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) mission in the embassy has accompanied the Ambassador during his visit.
The purpose of the Ambassador’s visit is to see achievements attained through the forest conservation and community development projects being implemented in Majang zone by MELCA-Ethiopia and Techno Serve through the financial support of Sida.
Vice administrator of Majang Zone Administration, Mr. Ismael Geleta has officially welcomed the Ambassador and the Sida mission in the zonal town, Meti. In his welcome speech, Mr. Ismael briefly explained the resource potential of Majang specially the forest cover, coffee, tourist attraction sites and the cultural assets of Majang community. In his explanation he said forest is food, medicine, shelter and means of livelihood that motivates the community to conserve the forest. He finally acknowledged the support of Sweden/Sida during the nomination of Majang Forest Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO and financial support after registration by UNESCO; financial support for developing the biosphere management plan and even its implementation. Mr. Ismael also thanked Sida and the Swedish government for the financial support rendered to conserve the Majang forest and at the same time improve the livelihoods of the community.
The Ambassador acknowledged the welcoming by Cultural dance of SEGNI club students followed by the speech of Zonal administration. He apologized for not visiting the project earlier due to unreliable security issues other competing commitments. He expressed commitment of the Swedish government and citizens to protect the global environment in general and those in developing nations in particular and contribute to the minimization of the effects of climate change.
At the end of the visit the team expressed that what they have seen is very encouraging despite shortage of time, which forced them to rush to cover the activities of both MELCA and TNS.
Sida has been supporting a project entitled “Contributing to Sustenance of Community and Environment in Majang” from 2013 to present.