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In this day and age, two of the greatest threats to mankind worldwide are deforestation and climate change. Keeping this in mind, Ethiopia has taken an initiative to deal with the climate crisis. Ethiopians planted more than 350 million trees recently as part of a reforestation drive. This plantation spree was part of a wider reforestation campaign named “Green Legacy”. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed started the initiative to help restore Ethiopia’s landscape. The goal was to plant 200 million trees in one day but the volunteers managed to surpass their goal and planted 350 million trees in 12 hours.
With this campaign the country aims to plant 4 billion trees between May and October. According to Associated Press, Dr. Getahun Mekuria, the Ethiopian minister for innovation and technology said, “So far more than 2.6 billion trees have been planted in almost all parts of Africa."
Not only Ethiopian citizens but also various international organisations and business communities have joined the initiative.The previous record for the most trees planted in a single day was held by India in 2017, where people planted 66 million trees in one day.
Farm Africa, a forest management organisation in East Africa revealed that Ethiopia’s forested region has witnessed a sharp decline from 30 % to the current 4%. Keeping in view the environmental and economic repercussions of deforestation the government chose to directly appeal to the masses, asking each citizen to plant 40 saplings.
An aesthetically pleasing view and experience are the most important requirements for tourism. Thus, green spaces play a critical role in enhancing a country’s image, attracting tourists and increasing the national income. Eco tourism in Ethiopia will not only help in the conservation of natural resources that the country is blessed with, but it can also improve the livelihoods of the local communities. According to recent studies, eco tourism in areas like Guassa, Lake Ziway and Lepis forest has helped diversify the livelihood of the local community.
It is a known fact that planting trees is the cheapest and the most effective way to tackle climate change. Reforestation oppotunities exist not only in Ethiopia but all around the globe which if tapped upon can result in cleaner water and air, flood control and fertile soil.
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