The Indian state of Uttar Pradesh is going to try to break the world record for the most trees planted in a 24-hour period. As part of an effort against climate change, officials there are hoping to beat the 2013 record of 847,275 trees set by Pakistan... By planting 50 MILLION trees!
The Associated Press quoted the state’s Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav, as saying “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 made stated this to volunteers gathered in the city of Kannauj, approx 155 miles southwest of the state capital, Lucknow. Officials distributed millions of saplings to more than 800,000 people to plant at designated spots along roads and forested areas.
At the Paris climate talks last December, the Indian government pledged to increase forest cover to 235 million acres before 2030. The government has planned to spend $6.2 billion for the effort and is encouraging all 29 states to start tree-planting drives similar to Uttar Pradesh.
Senior forest official Sanjeev Saran told the Associated Press that the tree-planting sites would be monitored through aerial photograpy to see how many saplings were growing. Usually around 60 percent of saplings survive, officials said, with the rest succumbing to disease or lack of water. According to the most recent Forest Survey of India statistics published in 2013, 5.96 percent of Uttar Pradesh is forested area and the forest cover across the country is at 21.23 percent. The government’s goal is to increase forest cover to 33 percent, sequestering 2.5 billion tons of carbon.