In July 2019, Ethiopia broke a world record by
planting 354 million trees in just 12 hours
The country planted 4 billion trees in 2019 as part of
the "Green Legacy" reforestation campaign led by the
Prime Minister and Nobel Peace Prize Winner, Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali
The commitment in 2020 is even more ambitious
And they've already accomplished it - one month early
Based in Los Angeles and established in 2006, Greenland Development Foundation (GDF) is a non-profit, non-governmental organization that focuses its efforts on the alarming rate of environmental degradation in Ethiopia and beyond. GDF’s principal focus is to support and promote Ethiopia’s reforestation and food-sustainability movements.
Currently GDF is working with The Ethiopian Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC) and the Ethiopian American Civic Council (EACC) to garner international attention for Ethiopia’s “Green Legacy Initiative".
DEFORESTATION IN ETHIOPIA
In the early 20th century, between 35% and 40% of Ethiopia was covered by forests, and in 2000 that figure was just 3%. And shockingly, over the past 50 years Ethiopia has lost 98% of its forested regions. More recently, between 1990 and 2010, Ethiopia lost 18.6% of its forest cover, and between 1993 and 2011 Ethiopia’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions grew an unbelievable 86%.
The primary cause of this massive deforestation has been exponential population growth. Since 1960, Ethiopia's population has grown five-fold, soaring to more than 100 million people. This tremendous growth has led to an increase in the demand for crops and grazing land and wood for fuel and construction.
Unlike many of its sub-Saharan neighbors which have embraced economic growth at the expense of environmental protections, Ethiopia has embarked on one of the world’s most ambitious green growth and climate mitigation programs, pledging to cap 2030 greenhouse gas emissions at 145 MtCO2e, a 64 percent reduction from projected business-as-usual emission levels. “No other African country has even begun to make the level of commitment that Ethiopia has in reducing emissions,” said Robert Mukiza, Ethiopia Country Director for the Global Green Growth Institute in 2015.
THE GREEN LEGACY INITIATIVE
Established by Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed
in 2019, the Green Legacy initiative is a national
Go-Green campaign focused on creating a greener
and cleaner nation.
In an ambitious effort to combat deforestation and environmental degradation, and battle Climate Change, the Green Legacy initiative has committed to planting billions of eco-friendly seedlings annually:
4 billion seedlings were planted in Ethiopia, during the rainy season.
In an Annual Day of Planting on July 29th 2019, 40 million Ethiopians gathered to plant 353,633,660 seedlings in a 12 hour period of time, smashing India’s 2017 world record of 66 million seedlings.
On June 5th, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed officially launched the 2020 Green Legacy tree-planting Initiative, with a commitment to plant
5 billion trees by year’s end.
This year (2020), the Annual Day of Planting has been postponed due to the COVID-19 Pandemic.
As of August 13, the goal of planting 5 billion trees was met ONE MONTH EARLY!
This exciting initiative also endeavors to:
Raise the public’s awareness about Ethiopia’s frightening environmental degradation
Educate society on the importance of adopting eco-friendly practices
Environmental and Community LeaderS, we are looking for your endorsement!
Do you work with an environmental organization? Do you work on environmental policies, campaigns, recycling drives, beach clean-ups, or even tree plantings? Are you a leader in your community?
If you are passionate about the environment and are moved and inspired by the actions that Ethiopia is taking to mitigate Climate Change, we would love your VIDEO ENDORSEMENT!
Watch an endorsement by Barry Simon, President of the United Nations Association in Southern California.
Please check out our guidelines to submit a video of yourself or a leader you know endorsing the Green Legacy Initiative.
“Politicians around the world have pointed to Ethiopia as an example of what can be done to reforest their own countries and reverse the effects of both damaging farming techniques and climate change.”
DR. Abiy Ahmed ali
“Our Green Legacy initiative is critical to Ethiopia’s
aspirations to build a green and climate-resilient economy."
In 2018, at 41 years of age, Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali became the youngest head of government in Africa. In 2019, he was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace for his efforts toward attaining peace and international cooperation, particularly for his work to end his country’s 20-year border conflict with neighboring Eritrea. As Prime Minister, Abiy has also managed to inspire his people to stop fighting amongst each other. Committed to peace, he has also resolved other regional conflicts, serving as a mediator in conflicts between Eritrea and Djibouti and between Kenya and Somalia and in Sudan’s civil conflict.
“If Ethiopia can plant 350 million trees in a day, what can we accomplish
in the fight against climate change?”
Currently Greenland Development Foundation (GDF) is working with the Ethiopian Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC) and the Ethiopian American Civic Council (EACC) to garner international attention for Ethiopia's Green Legacy Initiative.
PARTNERS in ethiopia
In collaboration with the
Environment, Forest and Climate Change Commission (EFCCC)
Fekadu Beyene, PhD
PARTNERS IN THE USA
In collaboration with Ethiopia American Civic Council (EACC)
and other friends of Ethiopia
EACC, Press Relations
Gashaw Tahir: From creating forest degradation awareness to
planting a million trees and getting recognition as a "Green Hero" by
the Ethiopian President Girma Wolde-Giorgis in 2009, G-20 Summit,
and the White House in 2010.
Gashaw Tahir, founder and CEO of GDF, is recognized internationally as the Father of the Green Movement in Ethiopia. He started Greenland Development Foundation when he realized
his home in Ethiopia had changed drastically because of severe deforestation, and so he started planting trees.