In one day, Ethiopians planted over 350 million trees. It was an effort to fight climate change and deforestation.
Across the country, volunteers took part in a mass planting as part of the “Green Legacy” initiative, a program that intends to reforest large swathes of the land.
The efforts far exceeded the original target of planting 200 million seedlings in a day. Ethiopia believes its success tops the previous world record set by India in 2017 when volunteers planted 66 million trees in 12 hours.
Inaugurated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the national reforestation program has an ambitious target of planting 4 billion trees by the end of the rainy season in October. Which means planting 40 trees for every person in the country.
PM Abiy Ahmed met with @WFPChief to discuss further strengthening support to #Ethiopia. WFP have been engaged in food security & nutrition, and early warning & climate action among other focal areas. The two planted seedlings as part of the #GreenLegacy initiative. #PMOEthiopia pic.twitter.com/UhK9nkHG4n
— Office of the Prime Minister – Ethiopia (@PMEthiopia) July 25, 2019
Many schools and government offices were closed for the day, as students and civil servants were urged to take part in the program supported by several international aid groups.
The planet’s forests continue to dwindle at an alarming rate, but reforestation campaigns have picked up momentum around the world, recognized as a powerful tool to fight climate change, habitat loss and erosion. After losing much of its forest cover, China has set out to be the world leader in expanding it, and most countries have signed onto an array of ambitious tree-planting campaigns.
Organizations like Farm Africa have been working on the management of forests with people in Ethiopia and other countries who depend on them for their livelihoods.
Farm Africa has aided farmers in Bale Province in developing forest-compatible trades like beekeeping, producing essential oils and making bamboo furniture, and using fuel-efficient stoves to reduce dependence on firewood.