When it comes to pollution control, one state in India can begin to breathe easy.
Photo by RobbieRoss123/Wikimedia Commons.
THE GOOD NEWS:
1.5 million volunteers in India planted 66 million trees in 12 hours to set a world record and combat the effects of climate change.
It just might be time for us to make every day Arbor Day. According to the Arbor Environmental Alliance, one tree can absorb about 50 pounds of CO2 over the course of a year, while a full acre of trees can remove the emissions equivalent of a car that’s been driven 26,000 miles. It’s no secret trees are one of the cheapest, easiest ways to reduce carbon levels in the atmosphere. That’s why the Madhya Pradesh region of India went above and beyond, planting a record 66.3 million trees in only 12 hours.
In summer 2017, 1.5 million volunteers took on the tree-planting challenge as part of the Paris Climate Change Conference. It was part of their promise to increase the country’s forested land area to a little more than 95 million hectares by 2030. To achieve this, Indian government officials have set aside $6.2 billion to plant more trees and offset carbon emissions.
Madhya Pradesh’s chief minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, wrote in an Instagram post of the record-setting event: “It is the most important day of my life. We will be planting fruit-bearing trees, medicinal plants and varied types of utility trees. This plantation drive will set an example to the world.” In total, the volunteers planted saplings of 20 different tree species to beat the Uttar Pradesh state’s previous world record of 50 million trees planted in one day.
This impressive feat of gardening comes at a crucial time for India, which currently sits as the world’s third largest producer of carbon emissions. With air pollution presenting a particularly lethal problem in India’s largest cities, this tree-planting effort could not have come soon enough.