The Monday planting was part of the country’s larger “Green Legacy” initiative that aims to plant four billion indigenous tree seedlings during the “rainy season” that occurs between May and October, according to CNN News
Citizens had been encouraged to plant 200 million seedlings on Monday, but Ahmed tweeted that 150 million had been planted after just six hours. According to The Guardian, public offices have reportedly been shut down in order for civil servants to take part.
GreenLegacy is a vision for the next generation. It is creating a blueprint for them and showing them the way. GreenEthiopia HealthyEthiopia TFudQhiAKc
— Amir Aman, MD (@amirabiy) July 29, 2019
Dr. Dan Ridley-Ellis, the head of the centre for wood science and technology at Edinburgh Napier University, said: “Trees not only help mitigate climate change by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air, but they also have huge benefits in combating desertification and land degradation, particularly in arid countries. They also provide food, shelter, fuel, fodder, medicine, materials and protection of the water supply.
The previous record for the most trees planted in a single day is held by India. In 2017, over 67 million trees were planted by millions of people in a span of 12 hours in the Indian State of Madhya Pradesh, setting a new Guinness reforestation record.
Ethiopia planted a record-breaking 350 million trees in 12 hours to fight climate change QUTTe3RRyk
— NowThis (@nowthisnews) July 30, 2019
Transforming the landscape
Ethiopia is the most populous landlocked country in the world and the second-most populous nation on the African continent. Ethiopia is also suffering the impacts of the climate crisis. with land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, and recurrent droughts and flooding exacerbated by agriculture. Nearly 80 percent of the country’s population depend on agriculture for their livelihood.
Deforestation has become a major concern, especially with studies suggesting that loss of forest contributes to soil erosion, loss of nutrients in the soil, loss of animal habitats, and reduction in biodiversity.
At the beginning of the 20th century, almost 35 percent of Ethiopia’s land was covered in forests. However, recent research indicates that forest cover is now approximately 11.9 percent of that area. In 2017, Ethiopia joined more than 20 other African nations in pledging to restore 100 million hectares of land as part of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative.