Better quality tree seeds in Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s green growth strategy includes a commitment to restore more than 20 million hectares of degraded forest landscapes within the next 20 years – one of the world’s most ambitious forest landscape restoration programmes. The NICFI-funded Provision of Adequate Tree Seed Portfolio in Ethiopia (PATSPO) project is designed to improve the productivity and resilience of forest landscape restoration in the country.

Since 2017, PATSPO has supported the Government of Ethiopia through the provision of high-quality tree seeds of priority species, for large-scale restoration plantings. The project has also strengthened existing tree-seed organizations and supported the establishment of additional private and government seed dealers.

“As a result of these efforts, both the physical and genetic quality of seed has improved,” said Kiros Hadgu, a CIFOR-ICRAF scientist and country representative for Ethiopia.

PATSPO conducted sector analysis and, in partnership with the Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC), established the national Tree Seed Network to foster collaboration among all stakeholders in the tree seed sector, including private companies.

The project has also provided species-specific knowledge for priority species, a critical mass of tree genetic resources for the future, and capacity development to monitor and deliver quality seeds and seedlings of the species required for large-scale restoration. An atlas on the distribution of 150 tree species in Ethiopia is being finalized, as well as an app called ‘What trees to plant where’.

“If partners are given time to adapt and adopt the project’s activities, these collaborative efforts are expected to help put Ethiopia’s restoration goals on the path to sustainability.”

Søren Moestrup, Senior Team Leader for PATSPO

Project info


Provision of Adequate Tree Seed Portfolio in Ethiopia (PATSPO)



Funding partners

Government/Norwegian International Climate and Forest Initiative (NICFI) represented by the Royal Norwegian Embassy in Addis Ababa

Project partners

Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission, Ethiopia, Ethiopian Environment and Forest Research Institute

Focal point

Lars Graudal, Principal Investigator and Co-Leader, Tree Productivity and Diversity

forward better


In 2020 – a year like no other – CIFOR-ICRAF continued to deliver the world’s best science on forests and trees in agricultural landscapes, shifting the conversation online as the Covid-19 pandemic evolved.

This annual report features stories about expertise, dedication and perseverance. When people responded to the pandemic with calls to ban wild meat, CIFOR-ICRAF experts stepped forward with recent, highly relevant evidence in hand, highlighting the needs of communities who rely on wild game for nutrition. Other scientists forged ahead to deliver compelling research findings on improved tree seed and restoration work in Ethiopia, agroforestry in Southeast Asia, and a new model for sustainable use of woodfuel in refugee camps – among many other topics.

CIFOR-ICRAF continued to chart its path as one organization, with a new 10-year strategy that outlines game-changing solutions to five global challenges: deforestation and biodiversity loss, the climate crisis, unsustainable supply and value chains, the need to transform food systems, and extreme inequality for women, Indigenous Peoples and vulnerable rural communities.

Three new holistic approaches will deliver actionable solutions to these challenges: Transformative Partnership Platforms, Engagement Landscapes and Flagship Products. And the newly launched Resilient Landscapes aims to leverage the power of the private sector to spur greater investment in nature-based solutions.

The Global Landscapes Forum (GLF) held its first fully virtual conference in June and didn’t stop there, seeing unprecedented digital growth during the year. And the CGIAR Research Program on Forests, Trees and Agroforestry (FTA) marked its 10th science conference – also virtual – while continuing to demonstrate the power of partnership.