Ethiopia’s Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP): Soil carbon and fertility impact assessment

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Ethiopia’s climate smart initiative (CSI) aims to integrate the implications of climate change into the Productive Safety Net Program (PSNP) activities, and systems to strengthen this important social safety net program, and enable Ethiopia to better manage climate risks and help its chronically food insecure population to better cope with shocks, create assets and secure livelihoods, even as the climate changes. CSI is also tasked with preparing the ground for PSNP’s sustainable public work programs to access climate finance and possibly payments from ecosystem services and benefits to spur and enable the transition towards low-carbon, climate-resilient growth and development. More robust and cost effective analysis and information on soil carbon stock changes and associate soil fertility and productivity indicators over space and time is required at multiple stages of development and implementation of PSNP’ participatory integrated watershed management projects to access climate finance. The main objectives of this study are to: (i) assemble business as usual and project scenario baseline database on soil carbon and other soils fertility, health and productivity indicators for six chronically food insecure and vulnerable Ethiopian regional states (i.e., Afar, Amhara, Oromia, SNNPR, Somali and Tigray), where PSNP’s sustainable agricultural and environmental rehabilitation public works have been implemented widely, ii) assess the impacts of Ethiopia’s PSNP participatory integrated watershed intervention projects on soil carbon capture and sequestration, as well as on other climate smart environmental and agricultural co-benefits in light of climate change, food security and low-carbon livelihoods in these regions, and (iii) support Ethiopia’s safety net climate smart initiative to take advantage of international carbon and climate finance opportunities to support sustaining the existing activities as well as scaling-up future implementations of PSNP participatory watershed public works projects in Ethiopia.
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This work was supported by the PSNP Climate Smart Initiative. The PSNP is implemented by the Government of Ethiopia with support from the following development partners: Canadian International Development Agency, Irish Aid, European Commission, Royal Netherlands Embassy, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, UK Department for International Development, United States Agency for International Development, World Food Program and World Bank.
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Soil Carbon; Climate Smart; Soil Fertility; Ecosystem Services; Watershed Management
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