Uttar Pradesh (UP), a state in the northern part of India and home to the magnificent Taj Mahal monument, is planning to set a new record by planting as many as a 50 million trees in a single day. Aimed to help combat climate change and global warming, the initiative will break the current world record, held by Pakistan for planting 847,275 trees within 24 hours back in 2013. Speaking about the wonderful project, Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of UP, said:
…the world has realized 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.
Yadav recently met volunteers from across India at a gathering in Kannauj, a city located nearly 250 km (around 155 miles) southwest of UP’s capital Lucknow. According to the organizers, approximately 800,000 people, hailing from different parts of the state, were given up to several million saplings, with orders to plant them at specific spots in the woods, along roads as well as railway tracks.
The initiative is part of the Indian government’s attempts to increase the country’s total forest cover to an impressive 95 million hectares (or 235 million acres) by the year 2030, as promised during last year’s Paris Climate Change Conference. To that end, the government has allocated an astounding $6.2 billion towards afforestation efforts, while also encouraging each of the 29 states to undertake targeted tree-planting drives.
As pointed out by senior forest officer Sanjeev Saran, the chosen locations will be closely monitored with the help of advanced aerial photography for the next few months, in order to ensure that the trees are growing properly. More often than not, however, only around 60-percent of the saplings tend to survive, with the remaining affected adversely by disease or shortage of water.
Currently the most populous state in the entire country, Uttar Pradesh is known for its rich heritage of art and culture, majestic Mughal architecture and sumptuous cuisine. According to the latest Forest Survey of India reports, approximately 5.96-percent of the state’s total area is covered with forests. That in itself is significantly less than the average forest cover across the nation, which is estimated to be over 21.23-percent. Thanks to this incredible initiative, UP is hoping to increase its forest cover to more than 33-percent; a step that would in turn help reduce up to 2.5 billion tons of carbon emissions.