Ethiopia’s Green Legacy – Hundreds of Millions of New Trees Planted

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed plants a tree in Addis Ababa.     Photo: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s office via Ecowatch

On Monday, Ethiopians around the nation planted trees — and not just a few — the citizens of the second-largest African nation planted 353 million trees in just 12 hours as part of the “Green Legacy” initiative led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. This is believed to be a new world record for the number of trees planted in a day, and it exceeded the 200 million trees goal — India was the previous record holder for planting 66 million in one day in 2017.

Why This Matters:  Look what people can do when they just try.  The Washington Post’s Kathleen Parker editorialized that “At the moment, our biggest problem – climate change – can be ended by simply planting trees. OK, so a trilliont rees, according to a Swiss study published earlier this month in the journal Science. But how hard is that, really?”  I (Monica) laughed when I read it, but I am changing my tune, given what Ethiopia managed to pull off in just a day.  How hard would it be?  How many could we plant here in the U.S. if we tried creating carbon sinks instead of pulling carbon out of the ground and the ocean?  No one really thinks we can fully solve the climate change problem without curing our fossil fuel addiction, but we could make a visible start if we RE-planted

Green Legacy Sets Ambitious Goal

CNN reported that Ethiopia’s overall goal is  HUGE — the nationwide campaign aims to plant 4 billion trees during “the rainy season” — between May and October according to a tweet by the Prime Minister.  Why is this so important?

CNN reported that 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.
How Effective is Tree Planting?
It turns out, according to researchers in Switzerland, that planting trees is an effective way to take carbon out of the atmosphere.  Tom Crowther, one of the authors of the study, calculated that there are about 3 trillion trees already on earth — much higher than NASA’s previous estimate of 400 billion. The research team further calculated that if we planted an additional 1.2 trillion across the planet, there would be huge benefits in terms of absorbing atmospheric carbon dioxide, the main driver of climate change.

Current trees are in green and trees that could be planed are in yellow. 

Up Next

What’s to Blame for CA Fires, Forest Management or Climate Change?

What’s to Blame for CA Fires, Forest Management or Climate Change?

As wildfires across the West continue to rage, President Trump has continued to push the message that the cause of the fires is solely due to poor forest management. It’s not a new message for Republicans, but science unequivocally points to the ways in which climate change is supercharging wildfires. Ezra Romero, an environmental reporter […]

Continue Reading 423 words
Deforestation in Afghanistan Multiplies Climate and Security Threats

Deforestation in Afghanistan Multiplies Climate and Security Threats

by Julia Fine, ODP Contributing Writer As Stefanie Glinski reported for the Thomson Reuters Foundation this week, large-scale deforestation in Afghanistan, due primarily to the past 40 years of war, has advanced flooding in the country (as trees prevent soil erosion and serve as a buffer against flooding). According to Glinski, “Trees have long been […]

Continue Reading 646 words

Trump Administration Proposes Another Timber Sale in Alaska’s Tongass

After its first proposed sale was blocked by a federal judge, the Trump Administration proposed on Friday a second timber sale in the pristine Tongass National Forest in Alaska, The Hill reported.  The sale would cover 6000 acres, including 5000 acres of old-growth trees and the proposal also includes road-building activities.

Why This Matters:  The Tongass is the largest national forest and one of the most important forests in the world (as the Ag Department itself says – watch the video) because it contains some of the last surviving old-growth temperate rainforests in North America and is home to numerous species of endangered wildlife and is very important to several native tribes. 

Continue Reading 469 words

Want the planet in your inbox?

Subscribe to the email that top lawmakers, renowned scientists, and thousands of concerned citizens turn to each morning for the latest environmental news and analysis.