India is looking a lot greener lately, especially since men and women in the state of Uttar Pradesh in northern India joined together to plant 50 million trees in a single day earlier this week. The activists took on the task of reforesting the Indian state not only to improve the environment, but to claim massive bragging rights.
Over 800,000 people, including students, lawmakers, government officials, housewives, and volunteers from nonprofit organizations participated in the planting millions of saplings across the state. Their efforts resulted in the country claiming the Guinness World Records title for the most trees planted in a day. Previously, Pakistan held the record after planting 847,275 in 2013.
80 different species of trees from over 950 different nurseries were handed out to individuals who chose to partake, reports ABC News. The trees were planted at designated spots along country roads and highways, rail tracks and forest lands.
Reportedly, the collaborative effort took place to raise awareness about the government’s massive nation-wide plan to make India green again. As was agreed at the Paris Climate Change Conference, the county aims to increase the forest cover to 95 million hectares (235 million acres) by 2030. To ensure this endeavor succeeds, the government is investing $6.2 billion. At present, 29 more states have been encouraged by the government to start tree-planting drives to increase the country’s forest cover.
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav told volunteers:
“The world has realized that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change.”
While only 60% of the saplings that were planted are expected to survive, the effort will help improve the quality of India’s air, which is a very real concern. According to a recent report, six Indian cities – Gwalior, Allahabad, Patna, Raipur, Ludhiana, and Delhi – were among the top 10 most polluted cities in the world.
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