Known abroad for past images of drought and starvation, the African nation of Ethiopia has announced that it has tripled forest cover from 3 percent in 2000 to 9 percent today, according to the AFP.
The Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development made the announcement last week after a decade of intensive tree-planting initiatives: for example, in 2007 Ethiopia planted 700 million trees. Ethiopia is primarily a nation of agriculturalists and is betting on the increased forest cover to mitigate erosion, improve soil quality, and preserve biodiversity.
The Ministry is planning to plant another 2.5 billion seedlings during the rainy season this year.
With nearly 80 million people, Ethiopia is the second most populous nation on the continent.
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