The national 4-billion tree planting project officially launched byPrime Minister Abiy Ahmed on May 26, 2019 is set to mobilize nationalreforestation programme of planting 40 tree seedlings per head.
According to the source from the Forest Monitor and EcoWatch, the centralIndian state of Madhya Pradesh has set a new world record after 1.5million volunteers planted more than 66 million tree saplings in just12 hours along the Narmada River on July 2, 2017.
Now Ethiopia is working on planting 200 million tree saplings in asingle day, surpassing the record set by India two years before.
Agro-forestry and Land Use Expert, at The Horn of Africa RegionalEnvironmental Centre and Network, Dr. Azene Bekele, said the plantingtree project initiated by Premier Abiy was a role model for others andcould mobilize the community for forestation, which has recently beenignored by the government.
“The Prime Minister’s initiation on planting 200 million seedlings aday and the four billion trees planting campaign in this summergenerally embarks on mobilization for forestation,” he said.
Only this year, the 4 billion tree planting project will cover thecountry’s 2.3 percent area by forest, he indicated.
Azene stated that if Ethiopia continues to maintain the momentum ofthe project, the country’s 23 percent land will be covered with trees, whilesaving $390 million per annum, which the country spendsto import forest products.
“Ethiopia has tremendous potential for afforestation as plants growthroughout the year. Hence, the country can save $390 million forimporting forest products and able to export and earn foreign currencybeyond fulfilling the domestic demand,” he added.Beyond the economic importance, the project would help to mitigate theimpacts of climate change as Ethiopia is one the most vulnerablecountries, he stated.
After planting, however, he said there should be a follow-up care andconservation by experts and other stakeholders to achieve the goal ofthe national project.
Ethiopia ranks third in planting trees since 2006 of the Billion TreeCampaign, which was launched by the United Nations Environment
as well as to a wider array of sustainability challenges from water supply
Ethiopia’s 200 million trees planting on Monday will be conductedthroughout the nine regional states and the two city administrationsof the country.
The 4 billion trees planting project was launched amid the Ethiopiangovernment's call to promote reforestation efforts, and eventuallybring an end to the rising deforestation, which the Ethiopiangovernment frequently labeled as "a daunting challenge" to thecountry's green economy strategy.
"Nationwide monitoring of planted seedlings will be conducted toensure that the planted trees would be grown," Ethiopian Minister ofAgriculture, Umar Hussen, said on Thursday.
"This will continue even in the future to identify the success rate ofthe planted seedlings in a bid to promote those who nurtured theplanted seedlings as articulated through the national initiative," theagriculture minister added.
Noting the government-led reforestation initiative as a "criticalimputes" for Ethiopia's aspiration towards green economy, Hussen alsosaid that the country "had lost billions of trees and forest resourcesover the past decades".