Officials claim to have broken world record
Ethiopians planted more than 350 million trees in a single day, officials have said, in what they claimed was a world record.
Dr Getahun Mekuria, the country’s minister of innovation and technology, said 353 million trees had been planted by Monday evening, surpassing the initial goal of 200 million trees planted in one day.
“Today Ethiopia is set in our attempt to break the world record together for a green legacy,” the office of Abiy Ahmed, the country’s prime minister, tweeted on Monday morning.
Ethiopia is in the middle of a campaign to plant 4 billion trees between May and October.
The initiative is part of Mr Ahmed’s plan to help restore the country’s landscape, which experts say is quickly being eroded by deforestation and climate change.
So far, more than 2.6 billion trees have been planted in almost all parts of the east African nation, agriculture officials have said.
According to Farm Africa, an organisation involved in forest management in Ethiopia, less than 4 per cent of the country’s land is now forested, a sharp decline from around 30 per cent at the end of the 19th century.
Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population and the need for more farmlands, unsustainable forest use and climate change are often cited as the causes for rapid deforestation.
In addition to ordinary Ethiopians, various international organisations and the business community have joined the tree planting spree, which aims to overtake India’s 66 million trees planting record set in 2017.
It is not yet clear if the Guinness World Records is monitoring Ethiopia’s the mass planting scheme but the prime minister’s office said specially developed software is helping with the count.