Ethiopia is to plant 5 billion tree seedlings this year to help fight climate change and deforestation. The r initiative is part of the country’s Green Legacy Project, which aims to build a green and climate-resilient economy.The planting is part of the country’s larger reforestation initiative spearheaded by Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed.

Launched in 2019, the Green Legacy Project aims to combat environmental degradation, build resilience, and transition into a green society.

The nation has lost nearly 97 percent of its native forests due to a growing population and an increased need for land for food production. To combat environmental degradation, Ethiopia committed to restoring 15 million hectares of deforested land by 2025.

Through the Green Legacy Project, the Ethiopian government hopes to plant 20 billion trees over four years – a project whose ambition seems matched only by national determination to see it through. This was evident when Ethiopia made headlines last year as the nation planted nearly 354 million trees in just 12 hours.

Despite the restrictions of global lockdown, the 2020 target remains in place. The Prime Minister has urged all Ethiopians to join this year’s planting challenge while also adhering to increased safety precautions, social distancing, and other preventative COVID-19 measures. Ethiopians are encouraged to “plant their print at the individual and family level.”

“The only thing that makes this year different is the pandemic we are confronted with as a global community. Nevertheless, while our resilience will be tested, we are committed to meet our set target in planting in a COVID-19-responsive way,” added the Prime Minister.

The 5 billion seedlings are being housed in 38,000 sites across the country. The seedlings will be planted during Ethiopia’s rainy season, which began a month early this year, due to climate change.

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