Addis Ababa June 19/2022 /ENA/ Deputy Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in Ethiopia, Margaret Atieno underscored that tree planting is crucial in addressing problems refugees, displaced persons and host communities are experiencing due to deforestation.
Staffs of the Refugees and Returnees Service together with UNHCR and Action for the Needy in Ethiopia have  planted tree seedlings today at Gulelle Botentic Garden as part of the green legacy initiative.

The Deputy Representative of UNHRC Margaret Atieno told ENA during the occasion that this exercise is very important for UNHCR noting tree planting is one of the activities carried out by the organization in terms of afforestation and contribute to the management of natural resources.

“The many people who are forcibly displaced for is a combination of factors due to conflict, climate change and other factors as well. So, you cannot address one without addressing the other. So, environmental protection obviously is part of the responses to addressing the effect for displacement and also to addressing the problems that refugees, displaced persons and also the host communities are experiencing,” she said.

“We take this exercise very seriously, we are very happy to be associated with it and we are very happy to be associated with the Prime Minister’s Green Legacy project,” the deputy representative added.

UNHCR is part of the project since 2019 when it was initiated; she said, adding that “we are very thankful together with the colleagues from Refugees and Returnees Service to be part of this exercise.”

Refugees and Returnees Service Deputy Director General Mulualem Desta on his part said the office has been actively participating in the Green Legacy program since its inception and paying attention to the work of environmental protection.

Managing Director of Action for the Needy in Ethiopia, Sahilu Sultan stated that the place where his organization operates is very much degraded and the organization is carrying out tree planting activities to rehabilitate the degraded areas as tree planting has multifaceted benefits.  

It is to be recalled that the Green Legacy Initiative was launched in 2019 by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to address various environmental challenges of the country.

The plan was to plant 20 billion trees across the country in four years. The nation has planted more then 18 billion trees over the past three years.

It is expected to surpass its goal of planting 20 billion tree seedlings this summer as the nation planned to plant more than some 6 billion trees.

The 2022 edition of the Green Legacy Tree Planting Initiative was launched in June, it was learned.

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