Prime Minister Abiy Launches 2020 Green Legacy tree-planting programme

8 Jun 2020

Under the initiative, five billion seedlings will be planted across Ethiopia during the rainy season

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Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, along with members of the national steering committee, launched the 2020 national Green Legacy tree-planting season by planting seedlings on Tabor Mountain in Hawassa.

Prime Minister Abiy planting a seedling in Hawassa on World Environment Day

The launch, which coincided with World Environment Day on 5th June, was a demonstration of Ethiopia’s efforts to sustain biodiversity and commitment to green, climate-resilient growth.

During this year’s rainy season, which runs until October, five billion tree seedlings will be planted across the country to help curb the effects of climate change and deforestation, with an ambitious target of planting 20 billion trees over the next four years.

“As the world celebrates World Environment Day, I call upon the global community to stand in solidarity with Ethiopia as we embark on this year’s Green Legacy season. Let us stay safe. Let us stay healthy. And let’s keep our environment green.”

– Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed

Despite the global pandemic, Ethiopia is committed to meeting its target of planting 5 billion trees. National efforts will mobilise planting at household and community level, the PM Abiy said, calling upon all Ethiopians to take up this year’s planting challenge adhering to physical distancing and other COVID-19 preventive measures.

Tree planting in Hawassa on World Environment Day

“If everyone commits to planting over the course of this year’s rainy season, we can demonstrate that Ethiopia can overcome the pandemic and also meet our productivity goals,” he said.

The Green Legacy Initiative, launched last year, resulted in the planting of over 4 billion seedlings nationally, including a record-breaking 353 million seedlings on 29th July. Of all the trees planted in last year’s challenge, 84% have survived. The high survival rate of these seedlings is nature’s encouragement to “forge ahead”, the Premier said.

Similar to last year’s challenge, guests who grace the PM’s Office plant seedlings following discussions.

Ethiopia has lost 98% of its forested areas in the last 50 years. According to the UN, forest coverage fell to just over 4% during the 2000s, down from 35% in the early 20th century. “The main environmental problems include land degradation, soil erosion, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, desertification, recurrent drought flood, water, and air pollution.”

…Oromia Region Introduces Women-Led Green Legacy Initiative

Oromia Regional state announced the launch of a women-led green legacy initiative in Bishoftu town.

Senior government officials, including the Attorney General, Adanech Abebe, attended the launch of the initiative on 19th June, which will be run by women across the region.

In her opening remarks, Adanech stressed the role of planting trees in addressing social burden and realizing the economic welfare of women in the community.

Women can generate income out of trees being planted, like avocado and mango trees, she said, calling on the community to join hands for the success of the Green Legacy campaign that was launched by the Prime Minister earlier in June.

Head of Oromia Region’s Women Children and Youth Affairs Bureau, Muna Ahmed, said 40% of 3.5 billion seedlings ready for the campaign in the region are expected to be planted by women.

Bishoftu town is set to plant 2 million trees in this rainy season.

…#PMGreenLegacyChallenge launched

In a tweet, Prime Minister Abiy said, “As we approach the second month in this year’s #GreenLegacy  planting season, I challenge all Ethiopian creatives, filmmakers, graphic artists, photographers, storytellers, cartoonists, etc. to collaborate and come up with the best and highly engaging short Green Legacy  videos and share them on the social media  #PMGreenLegacyChallenge.” He added, “A surprise follows for the best productions.”

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