National Tree Planting Campaign to Begin on Friday

ADDIS ABABA – Ethiopia is set to launch another tree-planting campaign a year after the country planted billions of tree seedlings to fight deforestation and climate change.

“On Friday, … we are set to officially embark on our annual #GreenLegacy challenge,” Abiy Ahmed, Prime minister of Ethiopia, announced on twitter post today.

The PM’s ambitious Green Legacy Initiative, launched in May and ended in October 2020, helped to plant four billion trees seedlings across the east African country.

This includes a day that saw Ethiopians planted more than 350 million trees in a single day as part of last year’s campaign.

A year after, the government announced that 80 percent of the trees seedlings planted last year have survived, and preparation for planting more during the Kiremt season – Ethiopia’s longest rainy season – is complete.

“Despite #COVID19, we are determined to plant the intended 5billion trees,” the PM said. “Let’s start planning on how each household with plant their print in a physically distanced manner”.

According to – government entity – Forest and Climate Change Commission, the tree seedlings are ready.

Unlike last year, Commissioner Fekadu Beyene said the current campaign will not gather many people to plant trees in a day.

“It requires a different method of identifying and allotting of plantation sites to a particular group to be planted turn by turn, adhering to all the precaution measures,” he told a state-run news agency.

Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population and the need for more farmland, unsustainable forest use and climate change are often cited as the causes for rapid deforestation.

The current forest coverage of the country is at 15.5 percent, according to the Commission.

By planting at least 1 billion trees each year and covering 1 million hectares, the coverage could reach 30 percent by 2030, it said.