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Ethiopia "breaks" tree planting records to tackle climate change



  Tree Planting Exercise

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Some government offices are closed to public officials to participate in the campaign

Ethiopia has planted over 200 million trees a day, officials say, according to what they believe is a world record.

Prime Minister Abi Ahmed heads the project aimed at counteracting the effects of deforestation and climate change in a country prone to drought.

Some public services are closed to allow civil servants to participate.

The UN says that the cover of forests in Ethiopia has decreased from 35% of total land in the early 20th century to just over 4% in the 2000s. [1

9659005] Mr Abby launched the tree planting exercise as part of the green heritage initiative, which takes place in 1,000 sites across the country.

Officials were appointed to count the planted seedlings, Kalkidan Yibeltal of the BBC said in the capital, Addis Ababa.

The Minister of Innovation and Technology in Ethiopia Gethubhun Mecuria wrote that more than 220 million trees were planted:

The purpose is to plant a total of four billion trees.

In public media, advertising videos were launched calling on the public to plant and take care of trees, our reporter says.

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Prime Minister Abiy participates in the tree planting campaign

The current world record for planting trees for one day is held by India, which in 2016 uses 800,000 volunteers to plant more than 50 million trees.

Mr Abiy's critics say he uses the campaign to dispel the public from the challenges his government faces, including ethnic conflicts, which forced around 2.5 million people out of their homes.

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