ADDIS ABEBA – Prime ministers Abiy Ahmed has encouraged Ethiopians to continue tree planting until the country reaches its target for the current rainy season.
The Prime minister is leading by example as the country tries to plant four billion trees by the end of the season in a bid to restore forests to help fight climate change and protect resources.
The country has so far planted over three billion trees since the tree-planting Green Legacy Initiative started in May, according to data from the government.
The effort has been boosted by the record-breaking 350 million tree-planting in 12 hours spree last Monday.
The prime minister now wants the planting momentum to continue until the target will be met.
The Office of Prime Minister said Abiy has shown his commitment “to his Green Legacy initiative by planting a tree on Sunday with members of the Republican Guard”.
“PM Abiy encourages all in Ethiopia to continue to Plant Your Print in the remaining weeks of the rainy season,” the office said in a statement.
According to Farm Africa, an organization involved in forest management in Ethiopia, less than four percent of the country’s land is now forested, a sharp decline from about 30 percent at the end of the 19th century.
Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population and the need for more farmland, unsustainable forest use, and climate change are often cited as the causes of rapid deforestation.