The twentieth century witnessed a dramatic and drastic reduction in Ethiopia’s forest cover from an estimated 40% coverage to less than 2% today. This huge loss of trees has contributed to a reduction in the quality of life for most Ethiopians. UNICEF Ethiopia's Millennium Tree Planting Campaign is part of UNEP's worldwide 'Billion Tree Campaign’, which engages the public in planting trees to promote the protection of the environment.
Through this project, UNICEF involved 50,000 school children through school environmental clubs in planting 50,000 trees in the region of Addis Ababa. Tree planting is both a mitigation and an adaptation measure. Tree planting also benefits children and schools by preventing land erosion and protecting against wind and dust in yards, both of which could increase due to an increase in rainfall and temperature variations caused by climate change.
Innovative Climate Change and Environmental Education (CCEE) was introduced through lessons and environmental clubs in 562 schools in seven regions. To date, 2,812 teachers have been trained and the CCEE Manual developed to support environmental science lessons and club activities. It has been printed in Amharic for distribution to schools in Addis Ababa and also adapted and translated into Somali.