Indians plant millions of tree saplings

by | Jul 5, 2021 | NEWS, WORLD | 0 comments

PHOTO: AP/Rajesh Kumar Singh

More than a million people began planting 250 million saplings on July 4, 2021 in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh as a part of an annual mass tree planting campaign to reduce carbon emissions and mitigate the effects of global climate change.

Lawmakers, government officials and volunteers from social organizations swarmed riverbanks, farms, forests, schools and government buildings to plant saplings at designated spots.

India has pledged to keep a third of its total land area under forest and tree cover but a growing population and increasing demand for industrial projects has placed great stress on the land.

The state of Uttar Pradesh is committed to increasing the forest cover to over 15 percent of the total land area in the next five years.

Since the launch of the tree planting drive four years ago, the forest cover of Uttar Pradesh, which is India’s most populous state with 230 million people, has gone up by more than 3 percent.

However, the long term survival of trees planted in such mass campaigns remains a concern. Usually only 60 per cent of the saplings survive with the rest succumbing to disease or lack of water.

India’s federal government is encouraging all 28 states to expedite tree-planting drives to increase forest cover, part of commitments made at the 2015 climate change summit in Paris, France. The government has allocated a large sum of money for tree planting across the country in keeping with the pledge to push India’s forest cover to 95 million hectares by 2030.