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Big Number: The Climate Change Challenge

Young ethiopian girls take part in a national tree-planting drive in the capital Addis Ababa, on July 28.MICHAEL TEWELDE/AFP/Getty Images/AFP/Getty Images


Ethiopia set a new world record last Monday when they planted more than 350 million tree seedlings in 12 hours, according to officials.

The challenge, a part of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s “Green Legacy” campaign, originally encouraged residents of the African nation to plant 200 million trees in one day. After the 12-hour-mark, Getahun Mekuria, the country’s minister for innovation and technology, announced on Twitter that a total of 353,633,660 tree seedlings had been planted.

India had set the previous world record in 2017, when 1.5 million volunteers planted 66 million trees in the same time span.


The “Green Legacy” campaign, which seeks to combat the consequences of climate change, has a lofty goal of 4 billion tree seedlings planted during the nation’s “rainy season” between May and October.

While critics say the green initiative serves as a distraction from the other challenges the Ethiopian government is facing, this budding woodland comes in light of a recent study which found that reforestation could remove two-thirds of carbon that’s been pumped in by humans.

Aimee Ortiz can be reached at aimee.ortiz@globe.com. Follow her on twitter @aimee_ortiz.