Meet the Environmentalists on their Own Terms
April 10, 2009

The recent newsflash about Ghilghel Ghibe III hydropower dam is one development project that united a broad spectrum of Ethiopians inside and outside Ethiopia, as can be gleaned from opinions expressed here and there. General public opinions range from putting development projects before politics to attacking criticism about its environmental impact as bordering on a "heinous" Nazi ideology. What this newsflash has demonstrated is that despite political differences, our people across the board have a strong desire to see meaningful developments in our native land.

Looking Back While Moving Forward
February 28, 2009

In today’s Ethiopia, few dispute that there is a meaningful economic development although many agree that this economic development is not balanced. Either way, there is no doubt that the economic development occurs by significantly increasing the built environment at the expense of the natural environment. While the trend of economic growth in Ethiopia is a long awaited desire, and all those who contributed to putting the country in the direction it is in today may be far from a comfortable level to wield meaningful achievements, the unintended damage to the country’s natural environment should be worrisome to all those who are involved in the decision making process. A recent documentary by Al-Jazeera Television about the effect of Koka Dam’s polluted water on the lives of the local people and livestock is very alarming. One of the local residents featured in the documentary reported missing her husband and five children and expressed worries about the health of her remaining children. Such is a case of a trauma brought upon our people not by the forces of the old natural environment but as a result of the effects of the built environment. All those involved in making the decisions to cause such amount of damages to the environment, unknowingly or unintentionally, are duty bound to look back while moving forward so that the desired economic development is achieved with minimal cost to the natural environment.

Economic Growth and “Environmental Health” in Ethiopia
October 6, 2007

The concept of environmental protection and preservation is an old concept that is reflected in the consciousness of various societies around the world. The concept of nature protection of the Oromo people in the age old Gada tradition, the Mother Nature concept of the Native American peoples, the Gaia concept of the ancient Greece, the Universal Harmony of the Chinese people are similar concepts that must have been based on a long term observation of the preservation of the natural environment. Because of Green House Gas emissions into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution is believed to be altering the natural climate and the world scientists are deliberating about its implications and how to mitigate it and adapt to its impact. Scientists such as Prof. Lovelock have gone back to the Gaia concept of the ancient Greek people to explain the concept of the struggle between man and nature by writing a reputable book titled The Revenge of Gaia.

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