Ethiopia plants more than 200 million trees in 1 day

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Agriculture officials stated that so far more than 2.6 billion trees have been planted in almost all parts of the East African nation. (Shutterstock)
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Agriculture officials stated that so far more than 2.6 billion trees have been planted in almost all parts of the East African nation. (Shutterstock)
Updated 30 July 2019

Ethiopia plants more than 200 million trees in 1 day

  • Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population and the need for more farmlands, unsustainable forest use and climate change are often cited as the causes for rapid deforestation

ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia: Ethiopians planted more than 200 million trees on Monday, which officials stated will be a world record. The ambitious initiative of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed aims to help restore the country’s landscape which experts say is fast being eroded by deforestation and climate change.
The state-affiliated Fana Broadcasting Corporate announced more than 224 million trees were planted on Monday, surpassing the initial goal of 200 million trees planted in one day.
“Today Ethiopia is set in our attempt to break the world record together for a green legacy,” the prime minister’s office tweeted on Monday morning. Early Monday, Abiy planted trees in Ethiopia’s southern region.
Ethiopia is in the midst of a tree planting campaign in which it aims to plant 4 billion trees between May and October. Agriculture officials stated that so far more than 2.6 billion trees have been planted in almost all parts of the East African nation.
According to Farm Africa, an organization involved in forest management in Ethiopia, less than 4% of the country’s land is now forested, a sharp decline from around 30% at the end of the 19th century. Ethiopia’s rapidly growing population and the need for more farmlands, unsustainable forest use and climate change are often cited as the causes for rapid deforestation.
In addition to ordinary Ethiopians, various international organizations and the business community have joined the tree planting spree which aims to overtake India’s 66 million trees planting record set in 2017.
It is not yet clear if the Guinness World Records is monitoring Ethiopia’s the mass planting scheme but the prime minister’s office told The Associated Press that specially developed software is helping with the count.


Turkey tries to shed light on White Helmets founder’s death

Updated 8 min 7 sec ago

Turkey tries to shed light on White Helmets founder’s death

  • James Le Mesurier’s body was found near his home in Istanbul early Monday
  • Turkish police believe he fell to his death from his home and are investigating the circumstances

ANKARA: Turkish officials were performing an autopsy and other procedures Tuesday as they tried to understand how a former British officer who helped found the White Helmets volunteer aid group in Syria died.
James Le Mesurier’s body was found near his home in Istanbul early Monday by worshippers on their way to morning prayers. Turkish police believe he fell to his death from his home and are investigating the circumstances. Last week a top Russian official had claimed he was a spy, something Britain strongly denies.
The Istanbul chief prosecutor’s office said an autopsy and other procedures were underway at Istanbul’s Forensic Medicine Institute to determine “the exact cause” of his death. It also said police were still in the process of gathering security camera recordings near the scene and assessing them.
Earlier, Istanbul governor Ali Yerlikaya told reporters: “Our chief prosecutor’s office, our police are engaged in multifaceted efforts to shed light on the incident.”
Le Mesurier was the founder and CEO of May Day Rescue, which established and trained the White Helmets, also known as the Syria Civil Defense, a group of local humanitarian volunteers.
The group, which has had more than 3,000 volunteers in opposition-held areas, says it has saved thousands of lives since 2013 and documented Syrian government attacks on civilians and other infrastructure. The group has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, but has not won.
Last week, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova accused Le Mesurier of being a former British agent working in the Balkans and the Middle East. She alleged he had “been spotted all around the world, including in the Balkans and the Middle East.”
Karen Pierce, Britain’s ambassador to the United Nations, denied those allegations Monday, saying “the Russian charges against him, that came out of Foreign Ministry that he was a spy, are categorically untrue.”
She also said Britain would be “looking very closely” at the Turkish authorities’ investigation into Le Mesurier’s death.
Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported that he was 48 and had moved to Turkey with his wife four years ago.