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.
(05/13/2008) A campaign to plant one billion trees has planted more than 2 billion trees in just 18 months and now aims for seven billion, according to the UN Environment Programme, one of the backers of the initiative.
(11/09/2009) Living on the roof of Africa, the Ethiopian wolf is one of the world’s rarest carnivores, if not the rarest! Trapped on a few mountain islands rising over 4,000 meters above sea level on either/both sides of the Great Rift Valley, this unique canid has so far survived millennia of human-animal interactions in one of Africa’s most densely populated rural lands. But the threat of climate change and a shifting agriculture frontier may require new conservation measures, according to Argentine-born Claudio Sillero, the world’s foremost expert on the Ethiopian wolf, who has spent two decades championing this rare species.
(08/06/2008) A new NASA-backed study has found a link between a warming Indian Ocean and reduced rainfall in eastern and southern Africa. The results suggest that rising sea temperatures could exacerbate food problems in some of the continent’s most famine-prone regions.