An ambitious campaign to plant 200 million seedlings in a day is under way in Ethiopia. It would be a world record if accomplished.
It is part of the Green Legacy Initiative by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who has dug in with a few seedlings of his own in ArbaMinch, southern Ethiopia, on Monday morning.
Mr Abiy started the campaign to create awareness about the importance of fighting environmental degradation in the country and public offices in the capital, Addis Ababa, have been shut down for civil servants to take part in the campaign.
The UN says Ethiopia’s forest coverage has fallen from 35% of the total land in the early 20th Century to a little above 4% in the 2000s. The country has also faced severe droughts in recent years.
Ethiopia, a country of 100 million people, would need each citizen to plant at least two seedlings, to make the record.
The record for the highest number of trees planted in a day by an individual, according to the Guinness Book of Records, is held by Ken Chaplin of Canada, who planted 15,170 red pine seedlings in 2001.