Technology & Science

Ethiopia says it planted 224 million trees in 1 day to break world record

Ethiopians planted more than 200 million trees on Monday, which officials stated will be a world record.

The country says it beat India's 66 million planting record in 2017

Ethiopians planted 224 million trees on Monday as part of a tree planting campaign that aims to plant 4 billion trees between May and October. (Reuters)

Ethiopians planted more than 200 million trees on Monday, which officials stated will be a world record. The ambitious initiative of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed aims to help restore the country's landscape, which experts say is fast being eroded by deforestation and climate change.

The state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate announced more than 224 million trees were planted on Monday, surpassing the initial goal of 200 million trees planted in one day.

"Today Ethiopia is set in our attempt to break the world record together for a green legacy," the prime minister's office tweeted on Monday morning. Early Monday, Abiy planted trees in Ethiopia's southern region.

Ethiopia is in the midst of a tree planting campaign in which it aims to plant 4 billion trees between May and October. Agriculture officials stated that so far more than 2.6 billion trees have been planted in almost all parts of the East African nation.

Rapid deforestation

According to Farm Africa, an organization involved in forest management in Ethiopia, less than 4 per cent of the country's land is now forested, a sharp decline from around 30 per cent 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 for rapid deforestation.

In addition to ordinary Ethiopians, various international organizations and the business community have joined the tree planting spree, which aims to overtake India's 66 million tree planting record set in 2017.

It is not yet clear if the Guinness World Records is monitoring Ethiopia's the mass planting scheme, but the prime minister's office told The Associated Press that specially developed software is helping with the count.

Corrections

  • An earlier version of the headline incorrectly stated that 240 million trees were reported to have been planted. In fact, the reported number was 224 million.
    Jul 30, 2019 11:32 AM ET

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