In 2017, India set a new Record of the number of trees planted in a single day at 66 million. Almost two years later, Ethiopia has surpassed that record with a colossal figure of 350 million trees. It’s certainly no small feat and the West African country is leading the rest of the world when it comes to deforestation and its contribution to the increasingly urgent crisis that is climate change.
Monday’s record is by no means a once-off endeavor but a part of a broader national “green legacy” initiative which was launched in May under the leadership of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, that hopes to see resulting in at least 4 billion trees being planted by the time in a few months time. The Prime Minister, leading by example, joined in on the planting a few trees in Addis Ababa.
After taking office in March of last year, the Prime Minister has made significant changes. Ahmed officially put an end to the two-decade long tensions and hostilities between Ethiopia and it’s neighboring country Eritrea. Additionally, he committed to ensuring that multiparty elections would be held and that political dissidents and critics of the government would no longer be jailed as was the case in the past, the New York Times reports.
Aljazeera reports that a number of schools and government offices were closed to encourage citizens to “go and make their mark” by contributing to the planting. While it is not yet clear whether the Guinness World Records was monitoring the tree planting, the Prime Minister’s office expressed that they had the assistance of a unique software with regards to the counting.