July 30, 2019 - 16:35 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - Ethiopians have planted more than 350 million trees in a single day as part of a campaign to fight deforestation and climate change, Al Jazeera reports.
Getahun Mekuria, Ethiopia's minister of innovation and technology, said 353,633,660 seedlings were planted in 12 hours on Monday, July 29.
The planting spree, which surpassed the initial goal of 200 million trees planted in one day, will be a world record, officials said.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed's ambitious Green Legacy Initiative, launched in May, aims to plant four billion trees across Ethiopia by October.
"Today, Ethiopia is set in our attempt to break the world record together for a green legacy," Abiy's office said in a Twitter post on Monday.
Some schools and government offices were closed for the occasion and Abiy told fellow Ethiopians to "go out and make your mark", as he planted his own tree in the southern city of Arba Minch.
So far, more than 2.6 billion trees have been planted in almost all parts of the East African nation, agricultural officials say.
Earlier in July, Swiss scientists published a study in the journal Science saying that the most effective way to fight global warming was to plant one trillion trees.
The report said that over the decades, those new trees could suck up nearly 750 billion tonnes of heat-trapping carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
That is about as much carbon pollution as humans have spewed in the last 25 years.