Ethiopia's tree planting initiative to have 31 bln seedlings planted: PM

ADDIS ABABA, June 9 (Xinhua) -- Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Friday said Ethiopia will have 31 billion seedlings planted by the end of this year's Green Legacy planting season.

As Ethiopia braces itself for achieving the aspiration of building a green economy, a government-led massive tree planting initiative has gained momentum across the East African country.

"We finish what we start. By the end of this year's Green Legacy planting season, Ethiopia will have planted 31 billion seedlings. Join and let us make history together," Ahmed said via social media Friday.

Ahmed's remarks came a day after the launching of the second phase of the Green Legacy Initiative under the theme "Let Us Plant Our Future Today." At the event, Ahmed said the initiative "is a legacy for generations to come. It is our local approach to tackling climate change and environmental degradation."

"It is one of our means to creating job opportunities and one means of enabling food security through planting edible seedlings," Ahmed said.

The first phase of the Green Legacy campaign, a personal initiative of Ahmed as part of his ambition to recover Ethiopia's lost forests, was launched four years ago.

According to the Ethiopian Environmental Protection Authority (EEPA), Ethiopia only contributes to an estimated 0.04 percent of the global greenhouse gas emission, but is highly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, mainly due to its high dependence on rain-fed agriculture and natural resources, as well as its relatively low adaptive capacity.

Experts blame the growing rate of deforestation for the rise in the adverse effects of climate change in Ethiopia as Africa's second most populous nation lost its abundant forest coverage, with worsening trends over the past few decades.

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