Ethiopia Plants a Record 350 Million Trees in a Single Day

Climate change and massive deforestation have become important topics in Ethiopia. So much so that the current prime minster  Abiy Ahmed has gone out of his way to encourage citizens to do their part in combatting those environmental issues. Recently, those efforts rose to an entirely new level however when the country set a new record by planting more than 350 million trees in a single day.

Back on July 29, the Ethiopian government sponsored tree-planting events at more than a thousand sites across the country. Officials were on hand to both organize and keep track of the number of seedlings that went into the ground, which is how the 350 million number was tabulated. Actually, the official number was 353,633,660 seedlings planted in just 12 hours. Very close tabs were kept on those efforts as Ahmed and his staff are hoping to get this record certified by Guinness. The previous mark was set by India back in 2016, when 50 million trees were planted on a single day.

According to the BBC, deforestation is a major issue in Ethiopia. In the early part of the 20th century, more than 35% of the country was covered in trees, but a hundred years later that number had dropped to just 4%. To reverse this trend, the prime minister has launched his Green Legacy Initiative, which aims to plant more than four billion indigenous trees over time. To support those efforts, the state has run promotional videos that encourage Ethiopians to not just plant, but care for the trees, nurturing them through the first fragile years of their life.

Obviously not all 350 billion of the seedlings will survive and grow, but if only a tiny portion of them make it to become healthy, adult trees, Ethiopia will be on course to reverse the deforestation efforts that have taken hold over the past 100 years. Perhaps more of these types of efforts will be needed around the globe moving forward as well, as it was recently revealed that the Amazon Rainforest could be approaching an irreversible tipping point.

Thank to my friends at GearJunkie for sharing this story.

Kraig Becker