Green Legacy Initiative Bringing About Tangible Results in Enhancing Forest Cover

Addis Ababa: The Green Legacy Initiative, considered as a massive reforestation campaign of Ethiopia has been playing a paramount role in protecting the ecosystem and increasing the forest cover, the Ethiopian Forestry Development underscored.

For the past five years, Ethiopia has diligently pursued an annual planting program under the Green Legacy Initiative, initiated by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed in 2019, it was indicated.

As a result of the initiative, Ethiopia’s Forest Cover report indicates that by 2023, the country’s forest cover had increased to 23.6% from 17.2% in 2019.

Approached by ENA Ethiopian Forestry Development Director-General, Kebede Yimam underlined the need for reducing poverty and ensuring economic growth through a proper utilization of natural resources.

Acknowledging Ethiopia’s potential natural resources, the forest resource in particular, he reminded that it had been neglected for many years due to improper protection and cutting down of wood for shelter construction and firewood.

The director-general referred a study conducted from 2000 to 2013, which figured out that the annual deforestation rate in Ethiopia is estimated at 92,000 hectares. And another study from 2014 to 2019 points out that deforestation decreased to 38, 0000 hectares.

Most importantly, Kebede emphasized on the declined Ethiopia’s annual deforestation rate which has decreased to 27,703 hectares.

For him, those countries that do not manage and use their natural resources in an appropriate way are exposed to unprecedented ecological risk.

Degradation of forested lands, unbalanced use of natural resources and high population growth are the reasons for various disasters, Kebede said.

The Ethiopia’s Green Legacy Initiative which has been becoming a critical demonstration in the endeavors of withstanding climate change impacts, the director-general elaborated that it has played an important role to increase forest cover.

As green development is important for the safety of the ecosystem and sustainable development by
increasing the forest cover, he urged the entire society to contribute their fair share in planting and maintaining saplings.

According to the director-general, the survival rate of planted seedlings is significantly increasing.

Kebede believed that this happened following the community’s awareness on the importance of forests is growing and the culture of properly caring for saplings has developed.

Speaking on year’s Green Legacy pre-launch program said a paradigm last week, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed noted that our goal for this year is to reach 40 billion seedlings from our overall target of 50 billion, which means we need to collectively plant 7.5 billion seedlings this planting cycle.