Ethiopia goes for tree planting record to combat climate change

31 Jul 19

More than 350 million trees have been planted in Ethiopia in a single day, according to officials.

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Ethiopia tree planting

Minister of state for foreign affairs Hirut Kasa (left) with executive secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa Dr Vera Songwe planting trees

 

The project is part of a national reforestation programme known as Green Legacy, led by prime minister Abiy Ahmed.

He hopes to plant four billion trees this rainy season, to combat climate change and restore the country’s forests that have been lost in the last century.

In the early 20th century some 35% of the country was covered with forest, compared to an estimated 4.2% by 2000.

At 6.45pm local time on Monday 29 July, minister for innovation and technology Dr Getahun Mekuria tweeted that 353,633,660 trees had been planted.

 

 

Officials set out to break the world record currently held by India, where 50 million were planted on 11 July 2016.

Economic Commission for Africa’s executive secretary Vera Songwe lauded Ethiopia’s effort and urged more countries to follow its example.

She said: “By greening the country, Ethiopia is leading the continent in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 15 to combat climate change, protect biodiversity and strengthen natural resources management.

“It is also doing so to increase overall productivity of both land oceans.”

Ethiopia, Africa’s second most populous country, aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2025.

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