Addis Ababa — The Green Legacy initiative launched in June 2019 is rooted in a vision of building a green and climate-resilient Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said.
Issuing a statement relating to the launch of Green Legacy program for 2022 to be held on June 21st with a target of planting 6 billion seedlings, the prime minister went on saying: " we are laying our foundation for multidimensional prosperity by leaving a climate smart generational legacy, during this rainy season."
PM Abiy added: "the energy we have harnessed in this process is a key learning to be applied to yielding greater results in our agriculture productivity."
The July 29, 2019 challenge of planting 200 million seedlings within a 12-hour span and exceeded the challenge by planting 354 million seedlings as well as the June 21, 2021 that Ethiopians went out and plant in a single day and cast their votes in for Ethiopia's first democratic election are the two particularly significant milestones during this three-year period that are worthy of note.
The premier further stated that these two milestone moments, together with efforts citizens have been making by responding to each year's Green Legacy challenge, have set into pace the development of a green culture in Ethiopia.
A target of planting 20 billion seedlings within a period of four years was set, the premier stated, and added "by the third year, we had succeeded in planting close to 18 billion seedlings by mobilizing more than 20 million citizens throughout the nation."
According to him, "inevitably, when we set out on the Green Legacy initiative, clear outcomes we expected included combating the effects of climate change; restoring degraded landscapes and forests; promoting a green culture and ecotourism; as well as improving the livelihoods of citizens."
In 2019, we embarked on an ambitious goal we were confident would mobilize millions around the country and it would be so transformational that the impact would be felt for generations to come, he elaborated.
We also set to build an exclusive process that will enable a large section of society to be custodians of such a Grand National initiative first by participating in the execution and then by being custodians for the future, Abiy pointed out.
The prevailing environmental context around the country when we launched this initiative was a staggering rate of land degradation due to deforestation, among other causes.
As it pertains to tackling deforestation, Green Legacy as a movement has been instrumental in creating public awareness, thereby leading to significant decline in the rate of deforestation over the past couple of years, it was indicated.
Ethiopia is gravely affected by the consequences of climate change and is considered a climate vulnerable country, he mentioned, adding "our immediate and practical approach to addressing climate change, is the Green Legacy initiative."
"While literally sowing the seeds today, we have no doubt these seeds will bear fruit across generations and contribute to reducing carbon emissions, decreasing water and air pollution, increasing rains in dry areas and preventing flooding and landslides," Abiy stressed.
Ethiopia as a nation has achieved numerous gains through the Green Legacy initiative and millions participate in planting every year, the proliferation of nursery sites throughout the country has enabled job creation for various sections of society.
Over 183 thousand permanent and temporary jobs have been created as a direct outcome of our greening endeavors. In addition, an annually improving survival rate of around 80% is contributing to the creation of new forests, it was learned.
Some 7.2 billion seedings of which 52% account for agroforestry trees, 47% forestry trees and the remaining ornamental trees have been prepared for the fourth year Green Legacy program of 2022.
Abiy underscored "achieving this year's planned target will catapult us way above the four-year goal of planting 20 billion seedlings."
PM Abiy extended his invitation to all Ethiopians to once again demonstrate perseverance for a generational cause; and to African brothers and sisters, to join us in making Green Legacy a continent-wide phenomenon, covering our beloved Africa in green; and to international partners, to contribute to the continued success and reach of the Green Legacy initiative.