India plants 50 million trees in 24 hours

Raising awareness about environmental conservation, nearly 50 million trees at a time.

Brandon Davis, PoliticKING

49.3 million trees in 24 hours to be exact.  This past Monday, more than 800,000 volunteers took part in a mass tree-planting exercise in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.  The goal: to plant 50 million trees in just one day.  After nearly meeting that mark, the volunteers crushed the previous record of 847,275 set in Pakistan in 2013.  The saplings included 80 different species of trees and were from 950 different nurseries around the state.

“The world has realized that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change,” Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav told volunteers, according to theAssociated Press.

In India, air pollution kills more than half a million people per year.  Planting saplings will not solve the country’s air quality problem, but the volunteers hoped getting involved would raise awareness.  The Indian government has designated $6.2 billion for states to start their own tree-planting drives, aiming to increase forestation in line with agreements made at the Paris climate change summit in 2015.

Dr. Anit Mukherjee, policy fellow with the Center for Global Development, says that “The biggest contribution of this tree planting project is, apart from the tokenism, that it focuses on the major issues…  It addresses many of the big issues for India: Pollution, deforestation, and land use.”

Click below for Oscar nominated documentarian, Josh Fox's recent interview regarding the changing climate:

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