Roundup: Ethiopia's ambitious reforestation initiative gets momentum amid warm welcome from China

0 Comment(s)Print E-mail Xinhua, July 26, 2019
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ADDIS ABABA, July 25 (Xinhua) -- More than 2.6 billion seedlings have been planted across Ethiopia during the past three months as the East African country shore up the momentum to regain its lost forest resources.

According to the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture, the 2.6 billion seedlings have been planted across the country as part of a nationwide project that aspires to see the plantation of 4 billion seedlings during the second half of the current Ethiopian physical year.

More than 60 percent of the target has been already met, said the ministry.

The national 4 billion trees planting project, which was officially kicked off by the Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on May 26 this year, "is set to mobilize national reforestation program of planting 40 tree seedlings per head," said the ministry.


The 4 billion trees planting project was launched amid the Ethiopian government's call to promote reforestation efforts, and eventually bring an end to the rising deforestation, which the Ethiopian government frequently labeled as "a daunting challenge" to the country's green economy strategy.

The Ethiopian prime minister had also recently launched the planting of 200 million trees in a single day, which is slated for July 29 - an initiative which is expected to break a world record so far held by India on planting a large number of tree seedlings in a single day.

As the country set to hold the 200 million saplings planting initiative on Monday, the Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture also on Thursday announced that the distribution of the planned 200 million seedlings - most of which are said to be indigenous tree species - will be completed on Friday throughout the country.

"Nationwide monitoring of planted seedlings will be conducted to ensure that the planted trees would be grown," Ethiopian Minister of Agriculture Umar Hussen said on Thursday.

"This will continue even in the future to identify the success rate of the planted seedlings in a bid to promote those who nurtured the planted seedlings as articulated through the national initiative," the agriculture minister added.

Noting the government-led reforestation initiative as a "critical imputes" for Ethiopia's aspiration towards green economy, Hussen also said that the country "had lost billions of trees and forest resources over the past decades."


Amid the Ethiopian government's call to support the national tree planting initiative, Ethiopian and Chinese officials have hailed joint efforts to achieve the East African country's 4 billion trees planting project.

As part of the joint reforestation efforts, a tree planting program was held earlier this week in the premises of the Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway main building on the outskirts of Ethiopia's capital Addis Ababa, and was attended by Chinese and Ethiopian officials.

Tilahun Sarka, Director General of the Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway Share Company (EDRSC), said Ethiopia and China have worked together in various fields, with the cooperation on the tree planting initiative serving as the latest example of the expanding bilateral ties between the two nations.

"Today we're here to share the national vision of planting 4 billion trees in Ethiopia, the vision of our Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed," said Sarka, adding "The railway is not only Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway, but it's also the friendship project of China, Ethiopia and Djibouti."

"As you know this is a standard gauge electrified railway which is using renewable, environmentally friendly energy. So, we are the best example of an environmentally friendly project," Sarka added.

Zhang Zhenhai, General Manager of the CREC-CCECC Joint Venture, a management contractor of Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway, also stressed his company's readiness to help Ethiopia achieve its green economy strategy, including the 4 billion trees planting initiative.

"As a Chinese company in Ethiopia, we thought we should contribute from our side for this nice country. We're working together with Ethiopia-Djibouti Railway to achieve this tree planting program," Zhang told Xinhua during the tree planting event on Saturday.

Zhang, who noted that China has its own green economy strategy that encompasses tree planting initiatives, also commended Ethiopia for starting its own tree planting initiative.

"China has a similar kind of program, running from the national level up to the ordinary people... China promotes individuals as well as companies to plant trees," said Zhang. Enditem

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