A Plant Genetic Resources Center, Ethiopia (PGRC/E) was initially established in May 1976 through a bilateral technical cooperation agreement between the Governments of Ethiopia and Germany. The main objective was to rescue the countryâ€™s plant genetic resources from adverse impacts of various human activities and natural calamities and thereby, support crop improvement programs. In 1998, it was re-established as the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and research. (EBIR) broadening its mandate and duties to implement Ethiopia’s obligation to the Convention of Biological Diversity (CBD). In 2004, the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation (EBI) was amended. At the moment, the institute is renamed as Ethiopian Biodiversity Institute(EBI).
Mandates and Duties
Ethiopia has set clear national policy directives on conservation of biological resources. In the past, conservation efforts focused on plant genetic resources and priority was given to field crops. Since 1998, the Institute was given a wider mandate of conservation and sustainable utilization of all forms of biological resources including plants, animals and microbial genetic resources as well as associated indigenous knowledge. Ecosystem management is also recognized as one of the areas to be given top priority. As to the importance of biodiversity and our dependence on biological resources, biodiversity conservation efforts give emphasis to local and national needs and values. The Institute, thus, has power and duties related to the conservation and promoting the sustainable utilization of Ethiopia’s biodiversity. This includes maintaining and developing international relations with bilateral and multilateral bodies having the potential to providing technical assistance. The Institute, on the basis of national legislation, has the responsibility and duty to implement international conventions, agreements and obligations on biodiversity to which Ethiopia is a party.
By 2023, EBI will be Center of Excellence in Biodiversity Conservation and Sustainable Use in Africa.
Undertake study and research on the proper conservation of Ethiopia’s Biodiversity and associated indigenous knowledge; Establish participatory conservation mechanisms; Ensure fair and equitable Access and Benefit Sharing; Promote sustainable utilization of biodiversity for sustainable development.
To ensure that the country’s biodiversity and the associated community knowledge are properly conserved and sustainably utilized, and the country and its communities get fair and equitable share of the benefits arising from their utilization.
The institute consists of eight key processes (directorates), namely: Crop and Horticulture Biodiversity directorate; Animal Biodiversity directorate; Microbial Biodiversity directorate; Forest and Range land plants Biodiversity directorate; Genetic Resources Access and Benefit Sharing directorate; Research, Dissemination & project implementation directorate; Branch, Centers & stakeholders directorate and Ecosystem directorate. There are also nine support processes, namely: Public Relations and Communication directorate; Purchase, Finance, Procurement and Property Administration directorate; Internal Audit directorate; Plan & Program directorate; Women, Children and Youth Affairs Directorate; Information Communication Technology Directorate; Human Resources Development and Administration directorate; Reform and Good Governance Directorate and Ethics & Anti-Corruption Directorate. The Institute establishes seven (7) additional biodiversity centers in Metu, Hawasa, Harer, Mekele, Goba, Bahirdar and Asosa, two botanical gardens in Jimma and Shashemene and Fiche duplicate gene bank to enhance the accessibility of biodiversity conservation and research. The Director General (DG) leads the institute which supported by management committee. The Management committee consists of all directorate directors.