Ethiopia just planted 350,000,000 trees in one day to help fight climate crisis
Ethiopia is taking a note from Dr. Suess' The Lorax and speaking for the trees. On Monday, the country launched their nationwide Green Legacy effort with the goal to plant 200 million seedlings in one day.
But Ethiopia far surpassed their goal, planting more than 353 million seedlings in just 12 hours, breaking a world record in the process.
The effort came as a way to help tackle climate change and deforestation. While both drastically affect locations around the world, their influences are much more visible in drier countries like Ethiopia. In the last 100 years, Ethiopia's forest coverage has decreased by almost 30 percent. The Green Legacy webpage reads:
"Green Legacy, for a greener and cleaner Ethiopia, is a national go green campaign, endeavoring to raise the public’s awareness about Ethiopia’s frightening environmental degradation and, educate society on the importance of adapting green behavior."
And they succeeded. Not only has Ethiopia made worldwide news for their initiative, but they also broke the world record for the most trees planted in one day. Previously, India broke the record in 2016 with 50 million trees.
After Dr. Getahun Mekuria, the Ethiopian Minister of Innovation and Technology, tweeted updates throughout the day, the final number of seedlings planted was 353,633,660.
The Green Legacy initiative encouraged every Ethiopian citizen to plant at least 40 seedlings on Monday. Supposedly, some offices were even closed so civil servants could join the effort. Dr. Dan Ridley-Ellis - head of the centre for wood science and technology at Edinburgh Napier University - told The Guardian:
“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 Lorax was right when he said: "Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."
Take a note from Lorax and Ethiopia, and go outside to plant a tree.