Agricultural law





WHEREAS, its varied geographic and climatic conditions has endowed Ethiopia with a wide range of Biodiversity and it is one of the few regions of the world having biological potential;

WHEREAS, these biological resources which include plants, animals and microorganisms, have immense contribution to the development of the country’s agriculture, industry and health sectors as well as to various other development endeavors;

WHEREAS, climatic change, frequent occurrence of drought, desertification, population growth that does not keep pace with development and implementation of industrial and agricultural technologies which do not take conservation of biodiversity into consideration contribute to the irreversible loss of the biological resources and this situation has become an increasing concern;

WHEREAS, exploring, collecting conserving and utilizing the biodiversity of the country is one of the priority areas which are necessary for sustainable development activities;

WHEREAS, in line with protecting its sovereign rights over its biodiversity at international level and the potential contributions of this resource to the welfare of the Ethiopian people and the people of the world as a whole, Ethiopia has agreed to respect various international conventions in conserving and properly utilizing its biological resources;

WHEREAS, it has become necessary to establish an institute which is responsible for undertaking, directing and coordinating biodiversity conservation, research and proper utilization endeavors at national level;

NOW, THEREFORE, in accordance with Article 55(1) of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, it is hereby proclaimed as follows:

1. Short Title

This Proclamation may be cited as the “Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research Establishment Proclamation No. 120/1998”.

2. Definition

In this Proclamation unless the context requires otherwise:

1. “Biodiversity” means the variability among living organisms, including plants, animals and microorganisms, and the ecological complexes of which they are part and this includes diversity within species(genes), between species and ecosystems;

2. “Ecosystem” means a natural system in which living and non-living things are found interacting with each other in a dynamic process;

3. “Gene” means a chemical composition found in all living things, that transmits all inherited characteristics;

4. “In situ conservation” means conserving plant, animal and microbial genetic resources in their natural habitats;

5. “Ex situ conservation” means conserving plant, animal and microbial genetic resources out side their natural habitats;

6. “person” means any natural or juridical person.

3. Establishment

1. The Institute of Biodiversity Conservation and Research (hereinafter the “Institute”) is hereby established as an autonomous body of the Federal government having its own juridical personality.

2. The Institute shall be accountable to the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization.


4. Head Office

The Institute shall have its head office in Addis Ababa and may have branch offices elsewhere as necessary.

5. Objective

The objective of the Institute shall be to cause and ensure the appropriate conservation. research, development and sustainable utilization of the country’s biodiversity.


6. Powers and Duties

The Institute shall have the powers and duties to:

1. initiate policy and legislative proposals on conservation, research and utilization of biodiversity and, upon approval, enforce as well as ensure their implementation;

2. explore, and survey the diversity and distribution of the country’s plant, animal and microbial genetic resources; collect samples for ex-situ conservation and facilitate utilization of these genetic resources for research and development;

3. conserve the country’s biological resources using ex-situ and in situ conservation methods;

4. device a strategy to harmonize biodiversity conservation and research programs with federal and regional agricultural, industrial and health development strategies and plans;

5. in line with developing and further utilizing the country’s biodiversity, popularize and introduce local landraces in different parts of the country; identify and study agro-ecologies where man-made and natural calamities are causing genetic erosion and from such assessment take measures by restoring the lost materials inthe locality from the ex situ conserved germplasm;

6. enrich the country’s biodiversity through introduction of germplasm from international sources and repatriating germplasm of Ethiopian origin from elsewhere in the world;

7. implement international conventions, agreements and obligations on biodiverstiy, to which Ethiopia is a party, and to take part in domestic and international conference and seminars with respect to biodiversity;

8. maintain and develop international relations with bilateral and multi-lateral bodies having the potential of providing aid and technical assistance for the support of biodiversity conservation and development;

9. work in cooperation with the concerned federal and regional bodies with respect to protection, research, conservation and utilization of biodiversity resources;

10. develop a national zoological museum and national herbarium for animal and plant specimens to provide researchers and other utilizers with the necessary reference materials;


11. divise and conduct research which will enable to assess and determine the diversity and distribution of the country’s biological resources, to use appropriate conservation and improvement methods, and to enrich and sustainably use these resources;

12. conduct research on ecosystems; assess the level and distribution of the country’s biological resources in these ecosystems and identify processes that promote or threaten their existence; formulate and propose policy ideas to concerned authorities which enable to promote the healthy processes and control the threatening ones.

13. encourage and support public participation in the conservation, development and use of biological resources;

14. study traditional knowledge on conservation, utilization and improvement of biological resources and integrate the knowledge with scientific approaches for further development;

15. develop regional and international cooperation in biodiversity conservation and research activities; based on international agreements and national legislation take appropriate action to maintain the sovereign right of the country over its biodiversity;

16. design strategies and develop information network system to collect, document and utilize information on the country’s biodiversity;

17. in cooperation with appropriate institutions acquire sufficient trained human resources and build capacity for biodiversty conservation and research and develop the use of biotechnology to further utilize these biological resources;

18. create awareness among the public on biodiversity conservation, development and utilization by closely working with mass media and educational establishments;

19. provide consultancy services with respect to biodiversity conservation and utilization;

20. give permit to those who need to collect, dispatch, import or export any biological specimen/sample;

21. determine and collect commensurate fees for services it renders;

22. own property, enter into contracts and to sue and be sued in its own name;

23. perform such other duties as are conducive to the attainment of its objectives.

7. Organization of the Institute

The Institute shall have:

1. a General Manager;

2. a Deputy General Manager; and

3. the necessary staff.

8. The Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization Board

The Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization Board shall, without prejudice to the powers and duties entrusted to it under Proclamation No. 79/1997, have with respect to biodiversity conservation and research the following powers and duties to:

1. oversee the proper implementation and execution of the objectives, and the powers and duties of the Institute provided in this proclamation;

2. review and submit to the Government Policy and legislative proposals initiated by the Institute;

3. evaluate and approve the Institute’s programs on biodiversity conservation and research and ensure their implementation;

4. cause the study and implementation of an appropriate organizational structure, management system and administrative regulations for the effective discharge of the Institute’s responsibilities;

5. approve nomination of the Deputy General Manager of the Institute and other personnel accountable to the General manager;

6. approve reports submitted by the General Manager of the Institute;

7. deliberate and make appropriate decisions on other issues essential for the fulfillment of the objectives of the Institute.

9. General manager of the Institute

1. The General Manager shall be appointed by the Government upon the recommendation of the Board.

2. The General Manager, shall be the chief executive officer of the Institute and shall, subject to the general directives of the Board, and through the Board from the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization direct and administer the activities of the Institute.

3. Without limiting the generality of sub-article (2) of this article, the General manager shall:

a) exercise the powers and duties of the Institute specified under Article 6 of this Proclamation;

b) employ and administer personnel in accordance with the regulations enacted for the Ethiopian Agricultural Research Organization which the institute is accountable to, and other appropriate laws:

c) prepare the work program and budget of the Institute and implement same upon approval;

d) effect expenditure in accordance with the budget and work program approved for the Institute;

e) represent the Institute in all its dealings with third parties; and

f) prepare and submit throughout the director General of the Ethiopian Agricultural Research organization, to the Board the annual reports of the Institute.

4. The General manager may delegate part of his powers and duties to the Deputy General manager and to other officials and employees of the Institute to the extent necessary for the efficient performance of the activities of the Institute.

10. Budget

1. The budget of the Institute shall be drawn from the following sources:

a) budget and subsidy allocated by the Government;

b) income of the institute; and

c) any other source;

2. The income obtained from the sources referred to in sub-Article (1) of this article shall be kept in the Ethiopian National Bank or in a bank designated by the National bank and shall be utilized, in accordance with the financial law of the government, to achieve the objectives of the Institute.

11. Books of Accounts

1. The Institute shall keep complete and accurate books of accounts.

2. The books of accounts of the Institute shall be audited annually by the auditor General or by an auditor designated by him.

12. Requirement of Permit

Any person that needs to collect, dispatch, import or export any biological specimen/sample shall secure permission from the Institute.

13. Penalty

any person who collected dispatched, exported, or imported any biological specimen/sample without in possession of permit from the institute shall be punished with five to ten years of imprisonment and from fifteen to twenty thousand birr fine.

14. Duty to Cooperate

Any individual or institute or organization shall have the duty to cooperate with the Institute in the implementation of this Proclamation.

15. Transfer of Rights and Obligations

the rights and obligations of the former Plant Genetic Resources Centre and the Wildlife Conservation and Development Organization are hereby transferred to the Institute.

16. Inapplicable Laws

No law shall, in so far as it is inconsistent with this Proclamation be applicable with respect to matters provided for in this proclamation.


17. Effective Date

This Proclamation shall come into force as of the 25th day of June, 1998.

Done at Addis Ababa, this 25th day of June, 1998.





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