Ethiopia plants 350 million trees in a day to fight back against climate change

Ethiopia has planted more than 350 million trees in one day, the country's government has said.

The world record attempt saw people from across the country digging holes in the ground in an attempt to combat the environmental impact of modern life and fight back against climate change.

The #GreenLegacy project, which is being led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, had originally intended to plant 200 million saplings in one day but Prime Minister Ahmed tweeted to say the country had far exceed this target.

In total 353,633,660 trees were planted in 12 hours on Monday, he said.

People planted more than 350 million trees during 12 hours. Credit: Ethiopian Prime Minister's Office

Government offices were reportedly closed for the day to allow officials to take part in the project.

The day of planting is part of an ambitious project to plant more than billion trees between May and October, when rainfall is at its peak in the east African nation.

India previously set the world record for planting the most trees in one day - grounding 50 million shoots over 24 hours in 2016.

Government offices were reportedly closed for the day for the planting. Credit: Ethiopian Prime Minister's Office

In 2001, a Canadian man, Ken Chaplin, planted 15,170 red pine seedlings in one day near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan. He still holds the record for most trees planted by an individual in 24 hours.

Guinness World Records said it has not received an application for it to be included in the coveted book, despite the Ethiopian government saying it was an official bid.

Census data shows 105 million people live in the country, the second most populous in Africa.

Around 4% of Ethiopia's land mass is covered by foliage, a dramatic fall from around 30% at the start of the 20th century.