When Trees Are Felled the Chips Will Burn

August 2019

Ethiopia is the fastest greening country in the world. It is doing it at a speed of 353 million trees per day, albeit up until now this has only been a one-time effort. The Prime Minister of the country, Abiy Ahmed Ali has declared a National Day of Green Heritage. On this day, he closed state institutions for 12 hours and personally led an army of officials and volunteers to forest plantations. The nation has never seen so many new groves born in such a short time. Having said that, two hundred years ago most of Abyssinia, as it was called then, was covered by tropical rainforests. A century later, they accounted for only a third, and by the year 2000 no more than four percent of the territory - only small islands of light forest remained from virgin thickets. Clearing forests to make farmland did not help to feed the starving population, but instead caused an environmental catastrophe. Now the Ethiopian authorities are going to urgently plant four billion plants. In total, to improve the climate on the Black Continent, twenty African states pledged, with international assistance, to restore one hundred million hectares of forest.

When Trees Are Felled the Chips Will Burn
Ethiopian Forests

The authoritative Internet portal statista.com published data on the largest losses of forest cover on the planet over the past year. And it is not in Africa that statisticians found the current leaders by this destructive indicator. In 2018, 5.56 million hectares were lost in Russia, and 2.95 million hectares in Brazil. This data has been confirmed by NASA satellites monitoring of the planet from the orbit.

When Trees Are Felled the Chips Will Burn
Wildfires of Siberia

But now, predatory deforestation of the taiga has been overshadowed by unprecedented wildfires. For the final week of July 2019, the global online platform Global Forest Watch recorded 262,067 large wildfires in Russia with a total area of 2.7 million hectares. Smoke reached the Pacific coast of North America. President Trump has offered President Putin aid with the wildfires.