The previous world record for the most trees planted in one day was held by India, planting over 50 million trees in 2016.
At a time when it is absolutely pivotal to ensure we leave behind a safe and pollution-free world for the next generation, many countries have realized that it is, indeed, about time. And one of those many countries is the beautiful nation of Ethiopia that has now taken matters into its own hands and planted millions of trees to help tackle the climate crisis.
And it is not just planting a few million trees, but people in Ethiopia have planted more than 353 million trees in 12 hours on July 29 as part of the "Green Legacy" initiative. The reforestation project spearheaded by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is now believed to be a world record, according to officials.
The Ethiopian PM also took to Twitter to appreciate the efforts of the people during the campaign. "We're halfway to our goal," he encouraged Ethiopians to "build on the momentum in the remaining hours." After the 12-hour period ended, Abiy announced that Ethiopia not only met its "collective #GreenLegacy goal," but, in fact, exceeded it.
India had held the previous world record for the most trees planted in one day -- which was around 50 million in 2016. There is no stopping Ethiopia when it comes to planting more trees as the national “Green Legacy” initiative is aiming to grow over 4 billion trees this summer.
The country had also closed many public offices so that civil servants could plant seedlings on Monday. The objective of the initiative is to encourage every citizen to plant at least 40 seedlings to reach the target.
Thanks to the initiative, Ethiopian minister for innovation and technology, Getahun Mekuria, tweeted that there were a total of 353,633,660 tree seedlings planted on that particular day. This is a welcome change for the African nation as it is often drought-prone and it was the perfect measure to tackle the effects of deforestation and climate change.
Dr. Dan Ridley-Ellis, the head of the center 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."
“This truly impressive feat is not just the simple planting of trees, but part of a huge and complicated challenge to take account of the short- and long-term needs of both the trees and the people. The forester’s mantra ‘the right tree in the right place’ increasingly needs to consider the effects of climate change, as well as the ecological, social, cultural and economic dimension,” he concluded.
According to BBC, there have also been several promotional videos on state media requesting the public to take part in the Green Legacy initiative and take care of nature. And not only Ethiopians but even many members of the United Nations, African Union and foreign embassies in Ethiopia took part and planted seedlings across the country.