Ethiopia breaks single-day record by planting 350 million trees

Move over, India, because there’s a new tree-planting record holder after Ethiopia planted 350 million trees in a single day in an effort to fight climate change.

Back in 2016, India planted 66 million trees in just one day. Earlier this past spring, Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed set a goal for his nation to plant 4 billion trees by October to combat deforestation amidst the devastation that has been caused by agriculture in the country.

Because of the loss of trees due to agriculture, Ethiopia has suffered worse droughts and floods. But as the second-most populous country in Africa, Ethiopia decided to take action and do something about it.

Deforestation is on the rise around the globe at a time when we need more trees, not less, to help cool the planet by sucking up the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Billions, perhaps even trillions of trees will need to be planted to reach this goal, but it’s the most efficient and inexpensive ways to combat climate change. We just need the will to do it.

Millions of Ethiopians participated in the effort, reaching the 350 million mark in just 12 hours, a feat praised by the minister for innovation and technology, Getahun Mekuria.

According to Dr. Dan Ridley-Ellis of Edinburgh Napier University Center for Wood Science and Technology, this achievement can only be a good thing for Ethiopia and the world.

“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,” he told The Guardian. “They also provide food, shelter, fuel, fodder, medicine, materials and protection of the water supply.”

“This truly impressive feat is not just the simple planting of trees, but part of a huge and complicated challenge to take account of the short and long-term needs of both the trees and the people,” he continued. “The forester’s mantra ‘the right tree in the right place’ increasingly needs to consider the effects of climate change, as well as the ecological, social, cultural and economic dimension.”

The United States and the rest of the world could learn something from Ethiopia. This record stands as a challenge to other nations to do their part in restoring trees in as many parts of the globe as possible. Americans could easily break this record if they came together for a common purpose. Let’s plant 1 billion trees in a day and work to stop deforestation so that we won’t have to worry about it being an issue ever again.

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