The global coronavirus pandemic will not deter Ethiopia on its mission to plant 5 billion trees by the end of July, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Friday, World Environment Day.
“Despite #COVID19, we are determined to plant the intended 5 billion trees,” he tweeted on his official Twitter account, adding that planning was under way on how each household would “plant their print in a physically distanced manner”.
The groundworks to plant 5 billion trees during its rainy season that extends from June to September, setting World Environment Day as the day on which to flag-off a programme to combat desertification and make the nation greener.
Abiy said on Facebook that the target is part of the East African nation’s larger goal of planting 20 billion trees over a four-year period.
Last year the country launched its annual Green Legacy challenge, which saw 354 million seedlings being planted in a 12-hour period. According to the Agriculture Ministry, about 84 per cent of those plants have grown.
“More than 20 million people were mobilised throughout the country in our first-ever mass planting engagement,” Abiy said on Friday, adding that 4 billion seedlings had been planted last year.
Abiy, who is the 2019 Peace-prize Nobel Laureate, is determined to push forward with his “Green Legacy” campaign to promote ecotourism and transform Ethiopia into an environmentally friendly economy
He then dug into this year’s attempt by planting trees near Tabor Mountain, just outside the central city of Hawassa.
Officials said both government institutions and private businesses had prepared enough seedlings to be planted in the latest round.
Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population and lack of arable land pose a problem for the impoverished nation.
According to the United Nations, the environment has become a key issue in Ethiopia in recent years.
“The main environmental problems in the country include land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, recurrent drought, flood and water and air pollution,” the UN stated.dpa up
Productive and sustainable plantation and rehabilitation projects are already in place in the arid Horn of Africa nation, delivering immediate and concrete benefits to those living nearby.
Such as the one promoted by the UN Development Programme in Buee District where constructed ponds offer herders an alternative water source for their cattle and residents have been given eucalyptus seedlings to plant near their homes so they’re not tempted to cut down the project’s acacia and silky oak trees.
Source Vatican News