Ethiopia has announced that it plans to consolidate the government’s Green Legacy initiative, which initially began in 2019, and embark on a plantation project aimed at 5 billion trees. An official statement on social media said that preparations for the availability of the required number of seedlings have been underway since the end of the previous year’s planting season. The Prime Minister emphasized that the overall aim is to plant 20 billion trees by the end of the next few years.
The roots of the ambitious tree-planting initiative can be found in 2019 when the government raised over $25 million for a project aimed at beautifying the country’s capital Addis Ababa. The fundraiser occurred in the form of the most expensive dinner in Ethiopian history, with businessmen, diplomats and other representatives paying $173,000 to dine at the palace of former Emperor Menelik.
This fundraiser was succeeded by the Green Legacy Initiative, aimed at slowing down the rapid depletion of vegetation throughout the country. Within a 6 hour period, the country had reportedly planted over 100,000,000 trees and expressed its desire to plant 4 billion trees the year.
The government announced that it met the goal of 4 billion trees in August after just three months. However, BBC has expressed its skepticism, arguing that there was no evidence provided by the country. Nonetheless, they accepted that the plantation project does demonstrate “a major effort on the part of the Ethiopian government to tackle very serious deforestation problems”.