According to officials, more than 350 million trees were planted in Ethiopia during a 12-hour span. This news means that the world record for the highest tree plantation during a day, potentially, has been broken. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed stands at the forefront of the project, the Green Legacy Initiative.
The Green Legacy Initiative is aimed at curbing and countering the negative impact of deforestation and climate change in Ethiopia that is a drought-prone nation. The final aim of the Green Legacy Initiative is to get four billion saplings planted at 1,000 different sites all over the country. The Prime Minister has ordered civil servants to take part in the plantation drive and has ordered to shut down offices for this purpose.
A compelling reason for the Green Legacy Initiative is the fact that 35% of the country’s forest coverage from the early 20th century has been reduced to only 4% since the early 2000s. As per Minister of Innovation and Technology, Getahun Mekuria, the 350 million trees were planted in only twelve hours. It was the responsibility of the officials to count the number of trees that the volunteers were planting.
The current record for the highest number of trees planted in a single day is held by India, where a total of 800,000 volunteers planted 50 million trees all over the country in 2016. An official count of the number of trees planted in Ethiopia is yet to be announced. It was not just the civil servants and volunteers who took part in the planting of these trees. Government officials and even the private businesses joined forces to plant trees.
The country was suffering from drought and had about two million animals die because of lack of rainfall in 2017. Considering everything, The Green Legacy Initiative appears to be a step in the right direction.