Crossing the Rubicon of Global Climate Change Through Green Legacy Initiative
By: Solomon Dibaba
Addis Ababa, July 17, 2023 (FBC) – In response to the call made by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, on July 17, 2023, millions of Ethiopians of all walks of life including government officials at all levels, the entire public including the youth, members of the defense forces, students in all the regional states of the country, children and toddlers, disable persons jogged to the plains and hillsides across the country without worry about rains trekked in all sites across the country. Ethiopians have traveled to their nearby mountainous or hillsides to pant seedlings from dawn to dusk in a single day with full determination.
Mothers hauling their babies on their backs were seen grabbing seedlings rapped with plastic bags in their hands. Also, the elderly and religious fathers, businesspersons, local and foreign investors, members of the diplomatic missions based in Addis Ababa and representatives of the UN systems and other international and regional agencies representatives have joined in a record breaking campaign of planting 500 millions of trees today, contributing their share to the global mitigation efforts of climate change.
Ethiopia has been hit by impacts of climate change. It is regrettable to recall that several decades back, about 40 per cent of the landmass of Ethiopia was reportedly covered by natural forest with lush hillsides and green plains. Excessive dependence on bio-fuel for firewood at household level, alarming deforestation and land clearing for agriculture, climate change induced drought and run off from the highlands of the country and its resulting effect of degraded lands on top of over grazing by livestock, have led to unprecedented desertification and loss of natural flora and fauna of the country. Ethiopians in the rural and urban areas heavily depended on bio-fuel resources with no effort to replace them.
Right after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed assumed the top executive power four years ago, he launched the Green Legacy Initiative in 2019 to respond the mammoth challenge of climate change with tenacity.
Of course, the issuance of Climate Change Resilient Green Economy Policy of Ethiopia and the ground breaking ceremony on the construction of GERD brought a gigantic change in the development policy of the country setting example for Africa and the rest of the world which is experiencing accelerated levels of global warming. The country had launched a large scale afforestation campaign across the nation with a view to accelerating the nation’s green economic development. Thanks to the this initiative, the nation has planted 25 billion seedlings over four years with an average sprouting rate of 80%.
Similar to GERD, the Green Legacy Initiative has mobilized Ethiopians to restore their degraded landmass, mountains and hillsides with trees relevant to the ecology. We Ethiopians are now striving for a green culture to mitigate environmental degradation. Along with GERD, the Green Legacy Initiative symbolizes the unity among the people of Ethiopia and their determination to reverse the devastating effects of climate change not only by greening the country but also by ensuring the food security of the population through planting fruit plants across the country.