Super Green Power: India Planted Millions of Trees in 24 Hours

What does having a competitive spirit and making a stand against deforestation look like? Well, not so long ago the most populous state showed us: India planted millions of trees in just 24 hours.

Green is Better. Photo Credit: Sathis Babu
Green is Better. Photo Credit: Sathis Babu

As a part of the $6.2 billion Compensatory Afforestation Fund that was passed in the lower house of the Indian Parliament not long ago, there was a massive, coordinated effort to reforest areas in Uttar Pradesh. It is wonderfully fitting that it should be this state: being the most populated region in India, it is the most prone to destroy forests and cause pollution, so the initiative can be considered highly symbolic. Financing such efforts is also a great way for the government of India to show intent of keeping with the rules of the Paris Climate Agreement to lower levels of pollution (according to Forbes, the top ten most polluted cities include six Indian towns.)
Reversing the Effects of Deforestation. Photo Credit: crustmania
Reversing the Effects of Deforestation. Photo Credit: crustmania

The original plan to reduce pollution and help the environment recover is to reforest 12% of the country to bring forest cover up to 21-33%. As India’s Environmental Minister Prakash Javadekar told Forbes, “Our forest cover will dramatically increase and it will result in achieving our target 33 percent of tree cover and most importantly 2.5 billion tonne of carbon sink as we have indicated in our INDCs.” (INDC stands for Intended Nationally Determined Contribution.)
The green initiative’s plan in Uttar Pradesh may have seemed too grandiose at first, but on Monday, July 11th, almost one million people helped out in accomplishing the goal. In 24 hours, volunteers with a green thumb managed to plant 49.3 million tree saplings all over the state. A staggering 80 types of species were planted and all came from local, Uttar-Pradesh-situated nurseries. Maybe next time you join us on the Rickshaw Challenge or the India’s Cup, you could consider planting a small tree?
Fortunately, the feat to reach a world record was accomplished: the last record holder was Pakistan in 2013, planting almost 850,000 trees in one day. Breaking a world record should definitely spark the spirits of other Indian states, and the government is urging every one of them to start planting trees.
A Bright Future. Photo Credit: mothi v
A Bright Future. Photo Credit: mothi v

Experts in the field, however, have expressed their concern regarding the big-scale planting of tree saplings in such a short time: the first couple of months after the trees have been planted are critical. It is crucial that they get enough water and are protected from diseases, and having so many trees planted may lead to hardship in examining whether their development is going according to plan. So, the state government came up with the strategy to observe these areas with aerial surveillance. Now that’s some real effort put into environmental protection, isn’t it?

Are you crazy enough to come along for the ride? Then join us on the next Rickshaw Challenge. Get a team together and let’s see you at the starting line! If you want to join us in spirit, like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagramto keep up with our latest antics.


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