The Fourth EAS Public Lecture of the year 2009 E.C. was held on February 2, 2017 at the Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa Institute of Technology Auditorium. The Public Lecture was titled, “Biodiversity and Sustainable Development in Ethiopia: Reconcilable or Irreconcilable Phenomena?” Professor Sebsebe Demissew, Founding Fellow of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences and Professor of Botany gave the Public Lecture.
Professor Masresha Fetene, Executive Director of the Ethiopian Academy of Sciences (EAS), chaired the Public Lecture.
Professor Sebsebe began the Public Lecture by highlighting the meaning of biodiversity and its major components. It was explained that biodiversity has multifaceted benefit to the existence of life, described as provisional, regulatory, cultural and supportive. Its role as a main provider of food and other basic necessities, its power to regulate and maintain climate change and natural disasters, its spiritual and recreational benefits and its contribution for the formulation of primary requirements, such as soil, cannot be overemphasized.
Ethiopia has a rich biodiversity. However, its biodiversity is also among the most affected due to environmental degradation. Two of the 34 global biodiversity hotspots are found in Ethiopia. These two biodiversity hotspots, apart from having high number of endemic species, are also known for their serious degradation and deterioration.
In conclusion, Professor Sebsebe noted that, protecting biodiversity is important for sustainable development in all sectors. Introducing and exercising sustainable land use and management plan is among the various measures that have to be implemented to secure sustainability. Even though, Ethiopia has been taking various measures to protect its biodiversity through the establishment of the National Biodiversity Institute, there are various works yet to be undertaken.
Governmental and non-governmental institutes, biodiversity protection and research institute representatives, representatives of national environmental and agricultural organizations, researchers, university students, EAS and EtYAS Fellows and members of the general public attended the Public Lecture.