Ethiopia set a Guinness record and fights the climate change by plating 350 million trees in 12 hours!

For the past few weeks, the whole world has been anxiously observing the ecological disaster rampaging the northern part of South America. This year’s dry season became a scene for the most fierce fires in Amazonia, as their intensity is considerably higher than in any year since 2010 and over 80% stronger than in 2018. By last week, the flames consumed around 7000 square meters, an area not much smaller than New Jersey. On the other side of the globe, a massive wildlife tragedy has been taking its toll due to the flames blazing in the area of Siberian Taiga. The unusually high temperatures (10C above average) triggered wildfires which are raging across almost 3 million hectares of forest.

Both ecological disasters are not only dangerous for the local wildlife but will surely have a huge, negative impact on the ecosystems of the whole world. Apart from the well-known truth, that both regions hold a significant role in global oxygen production, they also slow down the unfavourable climate changes. With the proceeding deforestation, more and more regions are victims of desertification. With the pace set by the fire, the process has been accelerated and the more trees disappear, the more climate anomalies will occur which will lead to a vicious circle.

However, people took action altogether to fight against global tendencies. At the end of July, Ethiopia planted over 350 million trees in 12 hours which also set a new Guinness record. The whole tree-planting action was a part of a larger campaign called “Green Legacy”. Millions of Ethiopian citizens across the country were encouraged to participate in the challenge. After the first six hours, the number of tree seedlings hit 150 million. When the action was completed, the total number of newly planted trees reached 353,633,660. Moreover, the achievement of this second-most populous African country is just a part of a greater goal of planting 4 billion trees within the “rainy season” (between May and October).

According to Farm Africa, forests cover less than 4% of Ethiopian land. In comparison, this rate was around 30% at the end of the 19th century. The governmental reforestation action aims to fight deforestation-related climate changes and their consequences just like droughts, flooding, soil erosion and land degradation. Moreover, restoring the lost forests could positively affect not only the local ecosystem but also contribute to slowing down the planet-warming processes.


Agnieszka Jankowska, TME Education Team