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Greening Ethiopia Initiative plants 200m saplings single day

A nation-wide tree planting initiative kicked off on the morning of Monday 29th July aimed at breaking the world record of planting 200 million saplings on a single day. India currently holds the world record.

Officially launched by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in May, the nation-wide reforestation program, also popularly known as green legacy, is aimed at recovering the trees and forests that have been lost over the years.

Staff and representatives from the UN family, African Union, Diplomatic Corps and Ethiopians from all walks of life gathered in Gulele Botanical Gardens and in a park in central Addis Ababa to play their part in supporting the initiative. Additional trees were planted in the compound of the Economic Commission for Africa, which also houses other UN agencies.

Economic Commission for Africa’s Executive Secretary Vera Songwe lauded the tree planting efforts and said, “By greening the country, Ethiopia is leading the Continent in achieving SDG 15 to combat climate change, protect biodiversity and strengthen natural resources management. It is also doing so to increase overall productivity of both land oceans.” She urged more countries to follow Ethiopia’s example.

Ms. Songwe was joined by Ethiopia’s State Minister for Foreign Affair, Hirut Zemene, in planting trees in and outside the ECA compound before she proceeded to the Gulele Botanical Gardens where thousands turned up to plant saplings in support of the PM’s initiative.

According to the Ministry of Agriculture, there will be continued monitoring and targeted efforts “to identify which seedlings have grown and been nourished by those who planted them; and where and which ones have died.”

The overall long-term target is 4 billion trees nationwide and according to the Ministry, most of the seedlings being planted are from indigenous tree species.

Sunday Olatunji
Dele Fashomi, seasoned journalist and communication teacher, is a holder of Master of Arts degree in Communication and Language Arts from the University of Ibadan in 1992/93. Earlier, he had bagged a Bachelor degree from the same university in 1984, after which he proceeded to the Nigerian Institute of Journalism, Lagos, in 1990, for a postgraduate diploma in Journalism. He had done many courses in communication, including the EU-BBC Editing Course in 2002. Mr. Fashomi combines effectively the practice, research and teaching of communication. And to date, he has published two academic works in communication: Issues in Communication Technology and Policy (2010) and Economic and Social Issues in Advertising and PR (2013). He had his first break in the Nigerian media in Concord Newspapers in 1990 and today, he has over two and half decades experience earned in several newspapers. He has been part of many start-ups, such as The Republic (1987), The Comet (1999), The Anchor 2001 - 2002; Sun Newspapers (2003); Westerner newsmagazine (2005 - 2010) as Editor; National Life (2011) as Sunday Editor, and Newswatch Newspapers (2012- 2016) as Daily Editor. Dele Fashomi is now the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of Newstide247.com newspaper online, which he started in July 2015. He is also into biography writing, with many books in his trail, some of which he wrote alone and one he co- authored with his mentor, Mr Dare Babarinsa, entitled:  Olabiyi Durojaiye - DARE TO BE DiFFERENT. He also guided and collaborated with Pa Olatunji Odusanya in writing his autobiography - AGAINST ALL ODDS. There are many other books in the works under his pen.
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