Indians across the state of Uttar Pradesh have carried out a mass tree planting campaign aimed to increase forest area. Within a single day, the country planted 250-million saplings.
But this isn’t the first time. Last year, residents in India got together and planted 20 million saplings along the Ganges.
This yearly tradition is led by Uttar Pradesh state government officials, lawmakers, and activists, who have pledged to keep a third of India’s land as forest cover.
Millions of residents took part in this initiative, with trees being planted in farms, schools, forests, highways, and alongside riverbanks. Over the past four annual drives, the state has seen an increase in saplings’ survival rate to an average of 80%.
“We are committed to increasing the forest cover of Uttar Pradesh to over 15% of the total land area in the next five years,” said state forest official Manoj Singh.
According to DW, there has been an increase of 127 square kilometers covered in the forest compared to 2017.
“There has also been an increase in trees and plants. The tree cover has increased to 3.05%, as compared to the national average of 2.89%,” said the official, citing the 2019 Forest Survey of India report.
Mass tree planting has become an easy and inexpensive method of helping the environment, by drawing carbon from the atmosphere.
Forest officials can monitor plantation survival rates and maintain records of success and failure at individual sites with the geo-tagged QR codes.
India will continue to expand its tree coverings in the upcoming years to reach its goal of covering 95 million hectares by 2030.