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?
- Less than 4% of Ethiopia’s land is still forested as compared to 30% at the end of the 19th century.
- Ethiopia has suffered the impacts of desertification such as land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, and recurrent droughts and flooding, which have been exacerbated by agriculture and global warming according to the United Nations.
- Because the country lacks development, most of the population (80%) depends on agriculture as a livelihood.