Ethiopia set a new world record on Monday when volunteers across the country planted 350 million trees in 12 hours.
The challenge encouraged Ethiopians to plant 200 million trees in one day, however after a 12 hour period the country’s minister for innovation and technology, announced the historic tally via Twitter.
“353,663,660 tree seedlings planted in 12 hours.”
The number of trees planted is almost five times the amount India planted when they set the world record in 2017 with 66 million in 12 hours.
The event was a part of the National “Green Legacy” Initiative. According to a tweet by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, their goal is to plant 4 billion trees during their rainy season which falls between May and October 2019. The Associated Press reports that over 2.6 billion trees have been planted thus far.
With deforestation and climate change dwindling Ethiopia’s forest coverage to 4% in the 2000s, down from 35% a century earlier, Dr. Dan Ridley-Ellis, the head of the centre for wood science and technology at Edinburgh Napier University shared the future impact the trees will have.
“Trees not only help mitigate climate change by absorbing the carbon dioxide in the air, but they also have huge benefits in combating desertification and land degradation, particularly in arid countries. They also provide food, shelter, fuel, fodder, medicine, materials and protection of the water supply,” said Dr. Ridley-Ellis.
Congratulations to Ethiopia! Perhaps this should become the next viral change for other countries to partake in!