Volunteers in India Planted 66 Million Trees In Just 12 Hours
In a record-breaking environmental endeavour, 1.5 million volunteers in India planted more than 66 million trees in just 12 hours. These volunteers that took part in this huge plantation campaign, gathered along the banks of the Narmada river in the central state of Madhya Pradesh and went to work throughout Sunday.
In accordance with the Paris agreement, India vowed to increase its forests by 95 million hectares before 2030, as a means to combat climate change. Trees are a great carbon sink when it comes to greenhouse gases, as they gather CO2 from the atmosphere in order to grow.
Nevertheless, this is not the first time something similar has happened. Only last year, another group of volunteers, this time in Uttar Pradesh, planted 50 million trees over the course of one day. Observers part of the Guinness World Records were also present this time around in order to supervise the proceedings and are expected to present their results over the following weeks. If the reports are right, which they should be, then this has been the largest ever tree plantation in human history.
The entire campaign was funded and organised by the Madhya Pradesh government who’ve chosen 24 different districts along the Narmada river basin to plant the millions of trees. This was done in an effort to increase their chances at survival. The volunteers worked tirelessly throughout the day and planted more than 20 different species of trees.
The state’s chief minister, Shirvraj Singh Chouhan, described the events as a “historic day”. He said that volunteers comprising of children all the way to elderly people were involved in planting more than 66.3 million tree saplings and worked between the hours of 7 am to 7 pm.
“By planting trees we are not only serving Madhya Pradesh but the world at large,” he Tweeted.
India is the third largest emitter of CO2 into the atmosphere after China and the United States, with over 2.454 million kilotons. But with that being said, per capita, India is only responsible for 1.9 tonnes, whereas China is at 7.7 and the United States is at 16.1. Nevertheless, Prime Minister Narendra Modi has reaffirmed his commitment to the Paris climate accord after the American President decided to pull his own country out of the mutually beneficial deal.
“The protection of the environment and the mother planet is an article of faith,” he said at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.