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Cablegate: December Regional Environment Newsletter, East Africa

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RR RUEHROV
DE RUEHDS #0114/01 0251232
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 251232Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY ADDIS ABABA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7488
INFO RUCNIAD/IGAD COLLECTIVE
RUEPADJ/CJTF HOA
RUEAIIA/CIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEKDIA/DIA WASHINGTON DC
RUEWMFD/HQ USAFRICOM STUTTGART GE
RUEKJCS/JOINT STAFF WASHINGTON DC
RUEHLMC/MILLENNIUM CHALLENGE CORP
RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEATRS/DEPT OF TREASURY WASHINGTON DC
RHEBAAA/DEPT OF ENERGY WASHINGTON DC
RUEHNR/AMEMBASSY NAIROBI 0026
RUEHKO/AMEMBASSY TOKYO 0554
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0400
RUEHDR/AMEMBASSY DAR ES SALAAM 5696
RUEHKM/AMEMBASSY KAMPALA 0013
RUEHLGB/AMEMBASSY KIGALI 1644
RUEHDJ/AMEMBASSY DJIBOUTI 0238
RUEHAE/AMEMBASSY ASMARA 3868
RUEHJB/AMEMBASSY BUJUMBURA 0096
RUEHPL/AMEMBASSY PORT LOUIS 0929
RUEHAN/AMEMBASSY ANTANANARIVO 0163
RUEHKH/AMEMBASSY KHARTOUM 0003
RUEHRK/AMEMBASSY REYKJAVIK 0039
RUEHSA/AMEMBASSY PRETORIA 5055

UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 11 ADDIS ABABA 000114

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR AF/E-JWIEGERT,OES/PCI-MGERDIN,OES/STC-
TBURNS,OES/SAT-FECHAVARRIA,EEB/IFD/OMA-JWINKL ER AND EEB/CBA-
DWINSTEAD

DEPARTMENT PASS TO USAID JEFF HUMBER

USTDA KATHRYN DORMINEY

DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC FOR ITA MARIA RIVERO

DEPT OF TREASURY WASHDC FOR REBECCA KLEIN

DEPT OF ENERGY FOR TSPERL

E.O. 12958: NA

TAGS: KSCA SENV ENRG ETRD PGOV ECON ET

SUBJECT: DECEMBER REGIONAL ENVIRONMENT NEWSLETTER, EAST AFRICA

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 001.2 OF 011


-------
SUMMARY
-------
1. (U) Summary: The December 2009 Regional Environment Office (REO)

eastern Africa newsletter reports on a variety of environment,
science, technology and health events that took place in Addis Ababa

this month. From two U.S. university sponsored science and
technology workshops and a Peace Corps environmental program
strategy
workshop, to following Africa's reactions to climate change
developments in Copenhagen and reporting on events leading up to the

next Nile Council of Ministers (NileCOM) meeting in Egypt, it was a

busy holiday month for the environment office Addis. To view a copy

of the REO newsletter online, visit our intranet site:
http://addisababa.state.gov/REO_Newsletter/
default.asp?fname=2009. End summary.

-----------------------------------
EAST AFRICA ALTERNATIVE ENERGY BUZZ
-----------------------------------
2. (U) Kenya: A best practices model for policy makers: Geothermal
development is characterized by high upfront costs and high upfront

risk. Couple this with high-risk business climates, and eastern
Africa has had a difficult time attracting foreign investment to
develop its substantial geothermal resources. Kenya is a country
with limited energy resources. Unlike Ethiopia and others in
eastern
Africa, they lack the massive potential that hydropower represents.

As such, the GoK began a campaign to develop its geothermal
resources. Recognizing their dilemma, the GoK took the necessary
steps to reform its energy sector, and they managed to create
attractive FDI opportunities, as evident by France's October 2009
funding announcement (see paragraph three). Kenya exists as an
example within eastern Africa of "if you build (reform) it, they
(investors) will come." As USG agencies develop strategies for
international renewable energy engagement, REO encourages policy
makers to look to Kenya as a best practices model. USG high level

policy makers should tout Kenya as an example for others in the
region to follow, to get Ethiopia and others off the notion that
donor countries need to support/assist them in developing their
energy sectors. The message is that more than enough investment is

out there to support robust development, as Kenya has proven, but

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 002.2 OF 011


only if the environment is conducive to investment.

3. (U) France Funds Geothermal in Kenya:According to media reports,

the French government agreed to give 7.2 billion shillings (US $97
million) to Kenya's Geothermal Development Company (GDC) for the
purchase of two rigs and capacity building for the new company. A
statement from Kenya's prime minister's office in October 2009 said

that the French government also agreed to increase funding for the
Olkaria Geothermal Power project by 5.5 billion shillings (US$74
million) while pledging to help Kenya shift from reliance on fossil

fuels to green energy. "Geothermal is the white oil of Kenya," says

Jean-Pierre Marcelli, of the Kenyan branch of France's Development
Agency (AFD). He says the Kenyan government is connecting about
200,000 people a year. The potential in Kenya is quite high as the
country is currently only generating about 150 megawatts of power
(of
around 1,200) from geothermal. Marcelli says several thousand
megawatts could yet be tapped and that Kenya's government is keen to

develop it so as to increase electricity coverage in the country,
but
also in order to remain economically competitive.

---------------
ACROSS ETHIOPIA
---------------
4. (U) Conservation:Helping the Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation
Authority: The newly established Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation
Authority (EWCA) is mandated by a 2007 proclamation to manage
Ethiopia's most important protected areas, as defined by those areas

that contain the greatest biodiversity and/or are transboundary.
Under the mandate, EWCA is responsible for 15 national parks, 4
wildlife sanctuaries, 8 wildlife reserves, and 18 designated
controlled hunting areas. Faced with daunting challenges that
include an absence of community participation in wildlife
conservation, a lack of coordination between federal and regional
stake holders, a lack of clear demarcation of park boundaries and in

turn substantial encroachment, and a lack of attention for the
subsector as a development agenda, EWCA is working to enhance its
capacity in order to create a sustainable management system for the

wildlife and protected areas. In the coming years, EWCA seeks to
redemarcate and legalize the existing national parks and wildlife
sanctuaries, strengthen wildlife protection in order to improve the


ADDIS ABAB 00000114 003.2 OF 011


management of endangered and endemic wildlife species, and to
maximize income from sustainable utilization of wildlife and
protected areas. Income utilization could include revenue from the
tourism industry as well as ecosystem services such as forestry
projects from carbon mitigation/adaption funds. Because EWCA is a
fledgling institution with substantial organizational limitations,
including inadequate budget, and substantial gaps in both skills and

knowledge of current staff, the Regional Environment Office in
eastern Africa based out of Addis Ababa in Ethiopia is attempting to

identity appropriate USG resources in order to facilitate potential

partnerships with EWCA. In this regard, Regional Environment
Associate, Ira Hersh, is reaching out to contacts at the US Fish and

Wildlife Service, the US Forestry Service, the National Parks
Service, etc.

5. (U) Peace Corps to Launch Environment and Conservation Program in

Ethiopia: Peace Corps Ethiopia is in the process of expanding its
activities by starting a new sector in environment to complement its

existing Health program. Peace Corps' involvement in the health
sector has played a contributory role toward the realization of
Ethiopia's Millennium Development goals in the health sector, but
the
country remains behind in reaching the goals within the Environment

sector. Consequently, beginning September 2010, Peace Corps Ethiopia

plans to launch the Conservation and Natural Resource Management
(CNRM) sector based on the demand to fill the gaps within this
important and rapidly growing field. Conservation International has

listed Ethiopia as part of the Eastern Afromontane biodiversity
hotspots (Conservation International), and the conservation of such

spaces in additional to other ecologically important areas is
paramount to the growth and progress of Ethiopia. The goal of Peace

Corps Ethiopia's Conservation and Natural Resource Management
Program
(CNRMP) is to identify, support and disseminate promising practices

that will improve the quality of life of Ethiopian people living
adjacent to protected areas, while also improving the management of

locally available natural resources. Peace Corps organized a
December

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 004.2 OF 011


22, 2009 stakeholders meeting to officially introduce the United
States Peace Corps Ethiopia CNRM program. In order to further
strengthen Peace Corps' collaborative partnership in this critical
area of development, Peace Corps Ethiopia invited government
officials, international NGO representatives, members of Ethiopia's

civil society, and USAID and the State Department Regional
Environmental Office.

6. (U) Peace Corps representatives briefed the group on the Peace
Corps mandate and objectives and their existing Health Program in
Ethiopia, as well as CNRMP program plans and objectives. Feedback
was generally positive, with many participants pleased to see
attention devoted to Ethiopia's pressing conservation needs.
Questions focused on the types of expertise that Peace Corps
volunteers will provide, with participants placing a particular
emphasis on particular skill sets that include conservation, parks
management, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), etc. One
criticism
that resonated was that the program was perhaps too broad and
slightly over ambitious, although Peace Corps staff explained that
during planning phases it is preferable to err on the side of
inclusiveness. They assured the group that the program will become

more refined and targeted over the next months with stakeholder
input.

7. (U) The Born Free Foundation Rescues Safia: As reported by USAID

staff Jane Strachan in the U.S. Embassy Community
Newsletter, The Lion, Jane Strachan learned of and then witnessed a

lioness cub living under less than optimal conditions while
traveling
to southern Ethiopia. She reported the finding to Born Free
Ethiopia's Director and the two worked together to bring the cub
back
to Addis to be placed in a safer, healthier environment. BFF worked

to establish a new temporary home for the lion cub on BFF's new
land.
BFF has been able to get 73 hectares of land in Menagesha from the
Government of Ethiopia to use as a new wildlife center. The
perimeter
has been staked out and BFF now has trained and uniformed guards
patrolling the area while BFF works on installing the perimeter
fencing. On November 30th, the cub, named Safia, was moved to her
temporary home, where she'll live for a few months while perimeter
fencing and a larger permanent enclosure is built on the BFF
grounds.
The set up is similar to that of a zoo in the U.S., with an indoor

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 005.2 OF 011


enclosure where Safia will be at night and then a gate that can be
opened so she can be outside or inside as she chooses during the
day.
In another few months, BFF will have an Open House at Menagesha and

will invite families to come have a picnic and investigate the land.

There will also be opportunities to do volunteer work that day. And

Safia will be there as well. BFF in Ethiopia currently also cares
for the lion in the Sidist Kilo zoo, several other lions in
temporary
homes, two cheetahs, and owl, and several tortoises.

8. (U) Colorado State University Identifies Science and Technology
Opportunities in Ethiopia: Representatives from Colorado State
University (CSU) visited Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in late December 2009

to host two interactive Geographic Information Science (GIS) and
Technology Needs Assessment Workshops. The objective was to identify

and prioritize important thematic and technical priorities for
sustainable GIS education and training in Ethiopia. Led by
Professor
Paul Evangelista, the CSU group sought to identify opportunities for

U.S. and Ethiopian researchers, academics and students. To evaluate

Ethiopian GIS needs and capabilities, CSU sought workshop
participant's input relative to five priority areas: application
priorities, technical and training priorities, enabling technology
priorities, and capacity improvement priorities. Application
Priority Areas included renewable energy, wildlife management,
groundwater, watershed management, food security, infrastructure and

asset management, community mapping, park/protected area management,

health/epidemiology, and urban planning. Technical and Training
Priority Areas focused on modeling, data collection, data modeling
and database design, basic GIS analysis, remote sensing, GPS,
landcover mapping, spatial decision support, and programming and
scripting. Enabling Technology Priority Areas targeted hardware and

software, SDSS development, online training opportunities,
repository/clearinghouse/SDI development, and internet connectivity.


9. (U) Evangelista has been working in Ethiopia for over ten years
and has established relationships at the Addis Ababa University,
Ethiopian Wildlife Conservation Authority (EWCA), and others. In
March 2009, Evangelista brought several CSU colleagues to Ethiopia

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 006.2 OF 011


to
meet with counterparts and assess the potential to develop a CSU
multi-disciplinary program to address Ethiopia's critical needs.
While GIS has been a reoccurring subject in Ethiopia, it is only one

of many subjects CSU hopes to address through Evangelista. To date,

NSF has provided CSU a small grant to facilitate their activities,
but CSU is continually challenged by a lack of resources and seeks
out other sources for support. The workshop validated the
assumption
that Ethiopia's GIS training needs are vast. CSU staff will work to

use information garnered throughout the course of the workshop to
narrow down targeted areas where they can provide valued added
training and expertise. Evangelista said it will be vital that CSU

identify the appropriate partners as they move forward in their
endeavors, seeking REO guidance and recommendations on how best to
engage government agencies.

-------------
WATER MATTERS
-------------
10. (U) Nile Basin Initiative Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary; And
the
Next Ten? The Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) celebrated its 10th
Anniversary Ceremony in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, December 6-8, 2009.

The event itself lacked the contention that has come to characterize

NBI meetings as they struggle with negotiations aimed at
institutionalizing mechanisms to establish a permanent river basin
organization that includes all Nile Basin countries. Speakers
called
for cooperation moving forward, frequently referring to the need for

inclusiveness. The celebration was held in the shadows of the next

Nile Council of Ministers (NileCOM) meeting, scheduled to take place

in early 2010 in Egypt. Decisions taken at this next NileCOM
meeting
will be pivotal regarding the future direction of the NBI, with
potentially significant legal and financial implications. Consensus

was that upper riparians are generally interested in development and

don't want to see future NBI assistance in jeopardy. A few
countries
(Kenya, possibly Tanzania) appear to be manipulating the NBI

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 007.2 OF 011


contentions for political gain, pandering to nationalistic
tendencies
regarding sensitivities surrounding the Nile waters. The next
NileCOM
meeting, however, will most likely be characterized by a showdown
between Egypt and Ethiopia, with high level political brinkmanship
up
to the last minute. Egypt is appears to have adopted a charm
campaign to discourage riparian countries from signing the
Cooperative Framework Agreement (CFA) at the next NileCOM appears to

be an ambitious charm campaign. Tanzania and Egypt recently signed
a
Memorandum of Understanding where Egypt has agreed to carry out
research on underground water in Tanzania, drill more boreholes in
Tanzania to alleviate shortages of water, and to provide for the
exchange of skilled professionals in water management such as water

engineers and students.

11. (U) Egypt's Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif visited Ethiopia the last

week of December 2009, accompanied by ministers of electricity and
energy, transport, trade and industry, health, and international
cooperation, in addition to representatives from 75 Egyptian
companies. Moreover, Egypt will launch an investment fund in Africa

with a capital of USD 1.3 billion and Egypt Air agreed to operate a

new line between Cairo and Addis Ababa with one trip every week. The

stated objective of these Egypt-Ethiopia initiatives is to "open new

horizons for cooperation and integration between the two countries,"

with Egypt's Minister of Water Allam explaining that he did not
participate in the December 2009 visit so that it wouldn't appear
like "a visit for the Nile." (Comment: It's always about the
water,
particularly when there is excessive protest to the contrary.
Between Egypt's interest in Ethiopia and Tanzania, coupled with
possible irrigation system development for agriculture in Uganda and

beyond, Egypt is appears to be offering to provide
development/economic benefits to those willing to stand down
regarding the CFA. End Comment.) For more details, see ADDIS ABAB
2951.

12. (U) Nile Basin Initiative in Review: The Nile Basin Initiative
(NBI) was launched in 1999 to develop the Nile basin in a
cooperative

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 008.2 OF 011


manner, to encourage the sharing of its substantial socioeconomic
benefits throughout the Nile basin region, and to promote regional
peace and security. To date, it has transformed behaviors and
perceptions in the region and recent analysis demonstrates there is

sufficient water for planned developments if there is cooperation.

The NBI includes ten member states: Ethiopia, Egypt, Sudan, Kenya,
Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Uganda, and

Eritrea as an observer and is supported by a World Bank-managed,
multi-donor funded trust fund that is due to expire in 2012. Events

are fast-paced in the run up to the 2012 expiration date, with
pressure mounting for a resolution on the Cooperative Framework
Agreement (CFA), or similar binding legal mechanism, needed to
establish a permanent river basin organization. The next NBI
meeting
is the Nile Council of Ministers (NileCOM) meeting scheduled to take

place in Cairo, Egypt at the end of February or beginning of March
2010. During the July 2009 NileCOM meeting in Alexandria, Egypt,
the
Nile Basin countries agreed to postpone a decision on the CFA for
six
months. The outstanding issue centers on Article 14 of the CFA.
Article 14 addresses water security; a contentious issue whereby
Egypt and Sudan seek text to ensure protection of their 'current
uses
and rights' while upper riparian countries want to abrogate
existing,
colonial era agreements. At the upcoming 2010 NileCOM meeting, it
is
a real possibility that seven upper riparian countries may sign the

CFA, opting to move forward without Egypt and Sudan. Such a
decision
could have legal and financial implications for the future of the
NBI, given that the river basin institution's credibility as a
regional body will likely depend upon inclusiveness. Sustaining NBI

accomplishments and modernizing Africa for the future will require a

permanent commitment from all NBI member states.

--------------
CLIMATE CHANGE
--------------
13. (U) In the aftermath of the December 2009 United Nations
Framework Convention's Fifteenth Conference of the Parties (COP15)
meeting in Copenhagen, Ethiopia has mixed reactions to the Accord.

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 009.2 OF 011

As Chair of the African Union (AU) Conference of African Heads of
State and Governments on Climate Change (CAHOSCC), Ethiopian PM
Meles
was named head of the African delegation of over 50 countries in
August 2009. The AU-sanctioned African position advanced by Meles
consisted of three major elements: adaptation, mitigation, and
technology transfer. The African negotiating position initially
called for $200 billion in adaptation funds annually beginning in
2020, it demanded that developed countries to cut their carbon
emissions by 40 to 45% of 1990 levels by 2020, and it pressed for
technology transfers with relaxed international property rights
(IPR). By the end of the conference on December 18, 2009, the
Africa
delegation accepted the European Union and United States' position
on
adaptation financing in the amount of $100 billion annually
beginning
in 2020. On emission reduction, Africa continues to press the
developed world to commit to cutting emissions by 40 to 45 percent
of
1990 levels by 2020, although actual country pledges in Copenhagen
did not reach these figures. The Africa delegation's objectives
regarding technology transfers were not clearly articulated and were

largely subsumed by adaptation funds and mitigation percentage
negotiations.

14. (U) Disappointed by what were viewed as insufficient carbon
emission reduction pledges from developed nations, and adaptation
financing figures lower than many had hoped, some media reports
declare that Ethiopia's Meles "sold out Africa." Government
officials
from Ethiopia's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) counter that
that Africa asserted its position under Meles in Copenhagen and
Africa's climate change challenges were recognized and validated by

the international community at the conference. In the EPA's
estimation, the Africa delegation "got what we asked for (in terms
of
adaptation funding amounts), it was the prime focus and they
(developed countries) accepted." According to the EPA, Meles was
awarded the amount he proposed; an amount that CAHOSCC agreed to in

advance of the conference and one that took global political and
economic factors into account. To further address criticisms that
the
figure is too low, the EPA describes the $100 billion sum as a first

step toward "reconciling;" that it should be positively viewed as a


ADDIS ABAB 00000114 010.2 OF 011


goodwill gesture that demonstrates developed countries'
understanding
of Africa's plight.

15. (U) Regardless, civil society continues to assert that $100
billion annually beginning in 2020 for adaptation measures is not
science-based and is too low, particularly once it is divided among

the many developing countries throughout the world to which it
applies. Climate change activists also argue that current carbon
emission pledges are not science-based and will have to reach the 40

percent figure if we are to meet a two degree temperature reduction

objective agreed to in Copenhagen. Persuading countries to pledge
meaningful mitigation numbers, according to Ethiopia's civil
society,
will require U.S. leadership. An Ethiopian environmental civil
society NGO, the Forum for Environment, launched a climate change
campaign in November 2009 where they collected more than two million

signatures for a petition calling on the U.S. to take on a more
active leadership role in Copenhagen and beyond.

16. (U) Despite media reports that highlight discontent with the
Meles-led delegation to Copenhagen, and Ethiopia's civil society
disappointments with the Accord, the general consensus is that the
Meles-led Africa delegation met with mild success in Copenhagen.
Civil society and government officials alike recognize that
significant work needs to be done in the months and years ahead to
ensure the establishment of a robust international agreement, one
they hope will transition from the present Accord to an
internationally legally binding document. The majority of voices in

Ethiopia, both from the government and civil society, view
Copenhagen
as a first step toward that end objective. With climate change
issues
now on the table, coupled with U.S. engagement, most in Ethiopia
agree that the international community is moving in the right
direction. For more details, see ADDIS ABAB 3026.

-------------------
REO UPCOMING TRAVEL
-------------------
17. (U) The Regional Environment Officer and Regional Environment
Associate for eastern Africa will travel to Madagascar January 7-14,

2010 for an orientation visit and to Cairo, Egypt January 18-22 for

an Office of Naval Research-hosted science and technology workshop.

ADDIS ABAB 00000114 011.2 OF 011


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