SNV in Ethiopia participates in second Green Legacy campaign

SNV in Ethiopia participates in second Green Legacy campaign

Staff from SNV's Addis Ababa office, in collaboration with the Ethiopian Clean Cooking Alliance, participated in a second Green Legacy campaign by planting seedlings in Gurara Park.

The campaign is part of the Green Legacy Initiative, promoted by the Ethiopian Prime Minister to reach national green environmental goals and face the effects of deforestation and climate change in the country.

Green Legacy's second campaign was launched on 05 June 2020 and aims to plant 5 billion seedlings during the Ethiopian rainy season. Konjit Nigussu, Director of Ethiopian Clean Cooking Alliance, explained that the alliance is engaging with its members and partners for this campaign to further its goal of protecting the environment through the planting of trees.

The National Biogas Programme of Ethiopia team were present at the event and briefed attendees on the application procedures for bio-slurry, which is the liquid discharged at the biodigester outlet after the gas has been tapped for energy. SNV is the overall programme manager of this project which is funded by the European Union and the Government of Ethiopia. To monitor the positive effects of the bio-slurry on the seedlings, half of the seedlings were separately planted using bio-slurry.

Last year SNV in Ethiopia planted more than 800 seedlings in two rounds at Seblewongel Sadessa Botanical Garden. As a requirement of this campaign, SNV is committed to visiting the site at least twice a year to ensure that the seedlings are growing well. Colleagues who visited the site recently have reported that most of the seeds planted by SNV have survived and thrived!

“Planted trees grow to forests when intimate bond is created between the planters and the seedlings,” explained Dr. Gessesse Dessie, a forester by profession, Senior Policy and Institution Advisor at SNV, after briefing participants on how to plant the seedlings correctly.

The initial Green Legacy challenge, launched in 2019, set out to plant 20 billion trees over four years while building a green and climate-resilient economy. Last year, according to government sources Ethiopia planted nearly 354 million trees in a day. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said 84% of the trees planted have survived. The high survival rate has energised the country to plant more, however, due to COVID 19, the government could not conduct a mass plantation like last year but instead allotted sites to groups so they could plant in a socially distanced way.

According to the Ethiopian Forest and Climate Change Commission, the current forest coverage of the country is at 15.5%. By planting billions of trees each year, Ethiopia hopes to significantly increase its forest coverage.