June 5 is World Environment Day and Addis is celebrating by planting indigenous trees throughout the city in areas where they can be assured they will receive care.
For fifteen days, June 5-20, Meskel Square will host a seedling exhibition to encourage people to take ownership in saving the environment. Interactive discussions, nursery and seedling businesses, and urban gardening will be featured.
They hope to encourage people in the city to plant vegetables and fruits in their homes which can help with the grocery bill while reducing urban heating at the same time.
“There are problems of food insecurity in the country and there are alternatives such as family-scale backyard gardens. We want people to develop that culture,” stated Menassie Gashaw, Eminence Environment, Tourism and Wildlife Director.
Exotic and indigenous seedlings including trees, fruits and vegetables, nurseries and garden accessories will be displayed along with interactive talks with prominent international and local environmental activists and experts.
The environment is one of the burning issues in our country; it is not just for government offices to solve ecological issues, we all need to get involved to bring about change,” said Tesfaye Alemu, CEO and President of Eminence Social Entrepreneurs.
Ethiopia loses about 141,000 hectares of forest each year due to fire wood collection, conservation to farmland, overgrazing and use of forest wood for building material. Ethiopia faces a difficult future because the agriculture sector which is the backbone of the economy is mostly dependent on forest resources. Between 1990 and 2005 Ethiopia has lost 14 percent or 2.1 million hectares of its forest coverage.
The exhibition will cost around 2.5 million birr and will have live music and other entertainment including a beauty contest where “Miss Green” will be selected. There will also be a drawing showcase that youth interested in protecting the environment and have something to say about it can participate in.
Eminence Environmental Initiative, part of Eminence Social Entrepreneurs is working with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Addis Ababa Beautification Program, the Park and Cemetery Administration Agency, the Addis Ababa Environmental Protection Agency, the Ethiopian Heritage Trust and Ethiopian Horticulture Cooperatives, to put on the seedling event.
The 15 day exhibition is expected to attract eight to ten thousand people and it will be conducted on an annual basis.
Eminence Social Entrepreneurs is a company that gives different services like media and publication, event planning, training and consulting, advertising and travel and tours.