Think you’ve got a streamlined transplanting process? The citizens of Ethiopia may have a leg up on your method. In just 12 hours, Ethiopians planted more than 353 million trees as part of their reforestation campaign “Green Legacy.” Officials believed the group set a world record.
Ethiopia Surpasses Previous Tree Planting Record
Millions of Ethiopians took part in the event. In just 6 hours, the country’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed tweeted that the group had already planted around 150 million trees by hand, without specialty equipment like tree augers. By the end of the event, Ethiopians planted a total of 353,633,660 seedlings. This total surpasses the previous world record, set by India in 2017, in which 66 million trees were planted by 1.5 million volunteers in 12 hours.
Creating a Blueprint for the Next Generation
In 2017, Ethiopia joined other African nations committed to restoring 100 million hectares of land as part of the African Forest Landscape Restoration Initiative. Land in Ethiopia, which was forested at 30% at the end of the 19th century, is now less than 4% forested today. The efforts are hoped to aid Ethiopian farmers, who struggle with poverty as the landlocked nation continues to suffer the cumulative effects of deforestation, land degradation, soil erosion, and climate change. Eighty percent of the population relies on the land and agriculture as a livelihood.
An Effective, Sustainable Way to Combat Climate Change
Trees absorb large amounts of atmospheric carbon dioxide. Recent studies indicate restoring the world’s forests could remove two-thirds of human-created carbon from the atmosphere. This makes the simple process of planting trees the leading solution in combating the effects of climate change. To date, global carbon emissions are approximately 10 billion tons annually. Calculations suggest restoring degraded forests worldwide could capture around 205 billion tons of total carbon if planted and allowed to grow in the 1.7 billion hectares of treeless land currently available.
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