On July 29, Ethiopia broke a world record for the most saplings planted in a single day, according to Ethiopian prime minister Abiy Ahmed.
Many schools and government offices were closed for the day, as the public was encouraged to take part in the event. The effort is part of a campaign by Ahmed to plant 4 billion trees in Ethiopia by autumn to combat deforestation and global warming. To meet the goal, the aim is to plant at least 200 million seedlings a day.
Reforestation campaigns like Ethiopia’s are becoming more common as deforestation continues to shrink the planet’s forests. The Earth Day Network has called for 7.8 billion trees to be planted on Earth Day next April – one tree for every living person on Earth.
According to a recent study, about 3.5 million square miles of unoccupied land, nearly the area of the United States, could support forests. The researchers at ETH Zurich said that if trees were planted on all of that land, they could store about two-thirds of the carbon generated by human activity since the Industrial Revolution.