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2009-05-22 | Report

Cost of Land Degradation in Ethiopia: A Critical Review of Past Studies

Mekonnen, Alemu, Mahmud Yesuf, Menale Kassie and John Pender. 2007. “Cost of Land Degradation in Ethiopia: A Critical Review of Past Studies” EFD/WB report
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This study will review the past studies of the cost of land degradation in Ethiopia, assess the major methodological and conceptual issues and problems existing in the different approaches, compare the findings across these studies considering the relative merits of the different approaches, and draw implications for policies and programs, as well as for future research related to land management in Ethiopia.

Over the last few decades, there have been several efforts to evaluate the cost of land degradation in Ethiopia. These studies have reached widely varying conclusions concerning the nature, extent and economic cost of the land degradation problem. The diversity in methodological approaches and underlying assumptions used by these studies, contributes to this diversity of conclusions. This, together with the fact that the costs reported by different studies are not always reported in a manner that allows comparisons across them to be made, limits the ability to draw clear implications for policy and program decisions related to sustainable land management.

To address this problem, this study will review the past studies of the cost of land degradation in Ethiopia, assess the major methodological and conceptual issues and problems existing in the different approaches, compare the findings across these studies considering the relative merits of the different approaches, and draw implications for policies and programs, as well as for future research related to land management in Ethiopia.

The major objectives of this review are, therefore, the following:
• To review the major methodological and conceptual issues involved in estimating the costs of land degradation;
• To critically review the methods, assumptions and drawbacks of past estimates of the cost of land degradation in Ethiopia;
• To compare the estimates across the available studies and compare those with other estimates for sub-Saharan Africa and other developing countries.