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Ethiopia: Bid to plant record 200 million trees in a day begins

Ethiopia on Monday begun an ambitious project to plant 200 million trees in a day. It is targeted at protecting it’s environment.

Should the country be able to achieve the 200 million target, it would be a world record.

The record for the highest number of trees planted in a day, according to the Guiness Book of Records, is held by Ken Chaplin of Canada.

In 2001 he planted 15,170 red pine seedlings.

Leading by example

As part of the Green Legacy Initiative, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is leading himself by planting a few seedlings in ArbaMinch, southern Ethiopia.

He shut down official work on Monday for civil servants so they can take part in the campaign.

Ethiopia’s landscape and natural environment in recent years suffered major devastation due to development.

There is a large of rapid agriculture expansion, construction and development of new areas to cater for the 105 million populace.

Many forest reserves are under threat with estimated 70 million grazing animals.

Almost nine households in 10 in Ethiopia still relying on wood for fuel.

The tree cover in Ethiopia now is just 13% as at today and the only way out is to begin to plant new trees.

According to the UN, Ethiopia’s forest coverage has fallen from 35% of the total land in the early 20th Century to a little above 4% in the 2000s.

Impact of no trees

Ethiopia in recent years also witnessed droughts in parts of the country due to lack of rainfall.

The result is the death of over 2 million animals in 2017. More planting is happening during the rainy season.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in May launched the entire project by planting himself as a symbolism.

His office said in a statement then that “Over the past years Ethiopia’s forest coverage has decreased (in recent years) and the initiative is set mobilize national reforestation at 40 trees per head.”

It may be very ambitious but expectations are high that this project succeeds to save the environment in Ethiopia.

In many African countries, governments are still struggling to control the destruction of forest reserves.

There are however subtle campaigns for planting of trees but not on the large scale such as Ethiopia.


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