July 20th, 2016 by Jake Richardson
800,000 volunteers planted 50 million trees in 24 hours in India during an attempt to break the world record for most trees planted in day, which was 847,275 set by Pakistan in 2013. Guinness World Record auditors haven’t completed their assessment of the Uttar Pradesh July 2016 project, which resulted in about 50 million trees being planted, but the record appears to be set to be broken by this latest effort.
“The world has realised that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change. Uttar Pradesh has made a beginning in this regard,” said the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Akhilesh Yadav.
It is astounding that so many volunteers could be enlisted for the project and cooperate together for a single effort. In the US, there are sometimes brief crowd gatherings for dancing, but never any giant tree-planting efforts, like what took place in India.
Trees help mitigate the impact of climate change and decrease soil erosion. They also provide food, shade and shelter for wild animals. Mature trees were not planted, they were all saplings, so not all of them will make it to maturity, but many will. They were planted along roadsides and rail tracks, and in forested areas.
It will be curious if the huge endeavor will inspire other tremendous tree-planting projects.
One might envision several sequels, so to speak, to this success, perhaps on annual or semi-annual basis. It might also be possible for international cooperation to occur, with two or more nations joining in a friendly competition to see who can plant the most trees in a 24-hour period. In some nations, the rush to industrialize caused excessive logging, which in turn led to deforestation in some areas. Without trees, topsoil and nutrients wash away, making it very difficult for anything to grow there. Replanting such areas is a good way to revitalize them for use by wild animals and for humans. Planting trees is also a good way to educate people about ecology.
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