Report

Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) of Tree Planting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This report presents the results of a Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) assessment for tree planting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Using spatial models to generate inputs for an integrated cost-benefit analysis and financial assessment, we show that planting trees generates value for society and can increase climate resilience.
By Emma Cutler, Matthew Gouett, Marco Guzzetti on April 26, 2022
  • Our SAVi assessment of tree planting in Addis Ababa shows tree planting can avoid costs of air pollution, flooding, and heat. Thus, trees increase climate resilience while also sequestering carbon.

  • Trees provide more value for money and create more jobs than installing rainwater harvesting tanks and replacing diesel/petrol cars with electric vehicles. Even with a large enough investment, these grey infrastructure alternatives may not be able to provide the same services as trees in Addis Ababa.

  • Trees provide a range of services for communities and public agencies, alike, but only if they survive. Thus, this report demonstrates the value of urban green spaces for climate adaptation and the importance of investing not only to build, but also to maintain NBI.

In response to environmental and climate stresses, the city of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, plans to plant 25 million trees over 5 years starting in 2021. In this report we present the results of the Sustainable Asset Valuation (SAVi) for tree planting in Addis Ababa. Using spatial models to generate inputs for an integrated cost-benefit analysis and financial assessment, we show that planting trees generates value for society and can increase climate resilience.

Specifically, we calculate the benefits of trees in terms of air quality, stormwater retention, ambient air temperatures, carbon storage, job creation, and fruit production under two climate scenarios. We also show that trees are a more feasible investment than grey infrastructure alternatives. The results can inform the city’s plans to plant 25 million trees over the next 5 years.

The report demonstrates the value of urban green spaces for climate adaptation and the importance of investing not only to build but also to maintain nature-based infrastructure (NBI). Trees provide a range of services for communities and public agencies alike—but only if they survive. Furthermore, many of these impacts are not direct cash flows. This highlights some challenges in valuing and funding NBI. It is our hope that this integrated assessment can allow for these non-monetary impacts to be included in decision making.