Just in case you didn’t already know – we’re currently in the middle of a climate change disaster. Temperatures are rising across the globe, there are more wildfires than ever and animal, planet and maybe even human populations are facing extinction in the next 50 years according to scientists.
BUT! There is a way to turn the tide and one African nation is doing their part by setting the new world record for tree planting.
Ethiopia set the new record for most trees planted in a single day by planting over 350 million seedlings and young plants. The team behind the mass planting had previously set a goal of planting 200 million trees (only) and would have easily taken over India’s previous-standing record of 50 million trees. But they really blew it out of the water by getting a massive 350 million down.
Ethiopia has seen the disastrous effects of deforestation first hand with the country’s forest coverage declining from 35% to 4% in the last century. Those effects include declining rainfall, desertification, food insecurity, disease and climate migration.
This world record was part of the Ethiopian government’s Green Legacy initiative, whose aim is to turn their country’s future – and the rest of the planet’s – around. The project took countless volunteers at 1,000 sites across the country across a full day. The benefits extend beyond helping climate change, as the trees will help Ethiopia’s environmental challenges with soil erosion, loss of biodiversity, drought, and water and air pollution.
— Amir Aman, MD (@amirabiy) July 29, 2019
Why tree planting? Reforestation is one of the most effective ways to fight climate change. Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is causing our planet to heat up, while trees store and convert carbon dioxide into oxygen. Scientists have estimated that if a global tree-planting program was initiated, two-thirds of the carbon dioxide emissions made by humans could be removed. More trees = lower temperatures and cleaner air. It’s simple!
“[Tree planting] is the cheapest [way to combat climate change] possible and every one of us can get involved. The potential is literally everywhere – the entire globe.” – Professor Tom Crowther, The Guardian