Ethiopia plants world-record 350m trees to combat climate change

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Ethiopia has planted more than 350 million trees in one day, which officials believe is a world record – as part of an initiative to combat climate change.

Prime Minister Aboy Ahmed is leading the project which aims to counteract the environmental damage caused by deforestation and climate change in the country. Ethiopia is one of the world’s most drought-prone nations with parts of the East African country being affected on a yearly basis.

Ethiopia plans more than 350m trees

According to Ethiopia’s Minister of Innovation and Technology Getahun Mekuria, people involved in the project planted 353,633,660 trees in the space of 12 hours on Monday –  a world record, according to officials who counted the number of seeds planted.

With the figure yet to be verified, the current record for the number of trees planted in a single day is 800,000, which were planted more than 50 million trees in 2016.

Ethiopia’s attempt was launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as part of his Green Legacy Initiative, which is taking place in 1,000 sites across the country. Some public offices were shut down so that civil servants were able to take part in the event.

The initiative aims to plant a total of four billion indigenous trees with staff from the United Nations, African Union and foreign embassies in Ethiopia also taking part in the exercise.

The UN says Ethiopia’s forest coverage declined from 35% of total land in the early 20th century to little more than 4% by the early 2000s.

Featured image: “Ethiopia – Planting Avocado Trees in Katbare – July 2011” flickr photo by treesftf https://flickr.com/photos/plant-trees/6243617034 shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license

About Aaron Brooks

Aaron Brooks is a UK journalist who wants to cut out the international agendas in news. Spending his early years in both England and Northern Ireland he saw the difference between reality and media coverage at an early age. After graduating from the University of Chester with a BA in journalism, his travels revealed just how large the gap between news and the real world can be. As Editor-in-Chief at East Africa Monitor, it’s his job to provide a balanced view of what’s going on in the region for English-speaking audiences.