Ethiopia sets world tree-planting record by planting over 353 million seedlings in 12-hours

Ethiopia sets a new World Record by planting 353,633,660 trees in a single day within 12 hours. 

The campaign to plant 200 million young trees in a day was spearheaded by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s wider plan to lead the planting of four billion saplings.

The campaign tagged ‘green legacy’ initiative to grow 4bn trees in the country this summer was achieved through the efforts of Ethiopia citizens as well as civil servants to plant at least 40 seedlings.

According to the Office of the PM, more than 100,000,000 young trees had been planted after a six-hour period, which means Ethiopia has surpassed the 66 million record set by India.

According to the Minister of Innovation and Technology, the final results of tree seedlings planted came up to exactly 353 million, 633 thousand, 660 in a space of 12-hours.

The Minister said this was the verified figure on the Number of Trees Planted based on the information received from the National Steering Committee. To set a new World Record, the figures need to be independently verified.

As at the time of this report, it’s not certain if the Guinness World Records is monitoring Ethiopia’s ‘green legacy’ initiative but the prime minister’s office said that specially designed software is helping with the count.

The current holder World Record for planting trees in a-day is held by India, which used 800,000 volunteers to plant more than 50 million trees in 2016 saplings three years ago.

In May when the four billion plan was heralded, the PM’s office said it was under the jurisdiction of the National Green Development initiative, meant to coincide with the onset of the rainy season.

The PM started his day in southern Ethiopia where he joined officials to plant seedlings in Arba Minch. The initiative is part of the wider fight against environmental degradation.

Ever since the announcement was made, the Prime Minister made it a focal point of all his engagements and meetings around the country.

He planted with all the guests that visited him at his office. Also, he planted special seedlings in honor of murdered officials of the June 22 assassinations in Addis Ababa and Amhara region.

In recent times, Ethiopia has experienced a negative impact of climate change especially about droughts in some parts of the country.

In 2017, it was reported that more than 2 million animals died in Ethiopia due to drought because of the scarcity of rainfall.

Additional saplings were also planted in the garden of the Economic Commission for Africa, which also houses other UN agencies.

According to Farm Africa, an organization into forest management in Ethiopia, less than 4% of the country’s land is now forested, a sharp decline from around 30% at the end of the 19th century.

Ethiopia’s increase in population and the need for more farmlands, unsustainable forest use, and sudden climate change are often pinpointed as the reason for rapid deforestation.