Ethiopia’s green legacy blueprint for generations, inspiration for the rest of the world

On a perfect refreshing Monday morning here in Addis Ababa, groups after groups of people were seen carrying saplings and heading to nearby designated spots to transplant trees in what is the most ambitious, large-scale and ecologically-transformational initiative national green legacy day.

All eyes were on Ethiopia while for the first time breaking the record which was held by India with 60,000,000 tree seedlings in 2016. Ethiopia broke the record by planting 353,633,660 indigenous trees across 1000 designated areas around the country.

Various international and local Media outlets gave full coverage of the event which was attended by almost Ethiopian states across the country. All people including the diplomatic community, ambassadors, ministers, public figures, artists, students, sport fun clubs and people from every corner poured out into chosen places to plant trees with enormous zeal.

Green Legacy is a revolution launched and led by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed as part of the effort to make Ethiopia greener, cleaner and more resilient against climate change. The leading project aims to counter the effects of deforestation and climate change with a goal to plant a total of four billion indigenous trees.

Amarech Belay 34, proud to take part in the inspiring civic duty on Monday by planting one tree says “It is not about making numbers it is about making impact.”

“Honestly, I am not worried about breaking the record. Each planting that will take place today will have a positive impact on our environment if we take care of it after planting.”

“I saw compassion and unity today and we hope the world will follow our Green Legacy,” she opined.

Trees are very important for increasing air and health quality for millions today and tomorrow. In few years from now, these trees would help in reducing climate change challenges in no small way.

According to the United Nations report, Ethiopia’s forest coverage declined from 35% of total land in the early 20th Century to a little above 4% in the 2000s.

Even though Ethiopia’s greenhouse effect is low compared to the developed countries, the impact of these trees countering the effect of deforestation in a drought prone country is very huge.

Amina J Mohammed Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations recently tweeted that “ If every country can break records for planting trees like Ethiopia, we can counter the effects of deforestation and climate change.”

Scientists say planting trees in trillion could erase a decade of CO2 emissions. Tree planting is one of the simplest of all climate policies.

‘‘Ethiopia’s effort of reforestation has also become a motivational factor for the rest of the world. Every action Ethiopia has undertaken whether it is big or small would have huge implication for the planet. Ethiopians have done what the coming generation will not forget. I wish our nation will follow this best practice,” said Joshua Akor Esq Executive Director at Rohi Life Care Foundation in Nigeria.

According to him, in addition to having positive impacts on climate change, they have positive impacts on many of the other sustainable development goals in developing countries as well.

“Planting trees will help us to absorb CO2. CO2 is building up in our atmosphere, exacerbating climate change. Trees absorb CO2, removing and restoring the carbon and other gases while releasing oxygen back into the air. Ethiopia has indeed served as example to other nations. My country Nigeria should emulate Ethiopia,” he pointed.

“And if all the people take part together it will definitely have yet a positive impact on our planet and the idea should be embraced by every Nigerian. I am starting mine tomorrow and I will encourage my friends to do the same.”

For Fantanesh Mulgeta and her friends, the day was more about nation building, unity and shared purpose than tree planting and the environment.

Fantanesh and her two friends have planted 3 seedlings each around Megenagna area.

“Green legacy must be our motto every single day. Hence, planting saplings should be overarching task. Planting positivity, love, unity, patriotism and integrity to advance Ethiopia for generations to come is a noble task.”

“Now that the trees are planted, the next logical step I believe is to care for the seedlings we transplanted and not to be oblivious to these trees all over Addis. We all should tend them,” she stressed.

The Ethiopian Herald Sunday Edition 4 August 2019

 BY FASICA BERHANE

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