1.5 million people, 12 hours, 66 million trees: India's commitment to The Paris Agreement
Author: Elise Catterall
India, the world’s second most populous country, is also the world’s third largest emitter of carbon dioxide (after China and the US). Further, its capital, New Delhi, and its surrounding suburbs, currently hold the record for the world’s worst air quality.
These facts make India’s response to the recent Paris Agreement especially heartening - a broad commitment to address climate change and global warming. This large environmental focus includes a pledge of $7.8 billion (US$6.2bn) to reforest 95 million hectares of the country – which equates to around 12% – by 2030.
Kicking off this reforestation commitment was the recent world record-breaking tree-planting drive. On Sunday July 2, 1.5 million volunteers came together to plant 66 million tree saplings in 12 hours. Between the hours of 7am and 7pm, children and adults of all ages planted 20 different varieties of treein Madhya Pradesh in Central India, along the Narmada River. The riverside locations were chosen to allow for constant water supply, in order to increase the trees’ chances of survival.
Deforestation and forest degradation are said to account for 17% of the world’s carbon emissions and the planet loses 15 billion trees every year. In India particularly, deforestation is a growing issue due to the rising population (currently more than 1.3 billion) and the increasing need for agricultural land and housing.
Madhya Pradesh State Chief Minister, Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the campaign over twitter:
“In [the] Paris climate change meeting it was decided we need to plant trees to save [the] environment for future generations. [. . .] By planting trees, we are not only serving Madhya Pradesh, but the world at large”.
The Madhya Pradesh campaign beat the previous world record for tree-planting, also held by India. In 2016, in the northern state of Utter Pradesh, 49.3 million trees were planted in 24 hours. This latest campaign also exceeded a similar campaign in Kerala last month, which saw more than 10 million trees planted in 24 hours.
As part of the reforestation commitment, the west central region of Maharashtra will be planting over 40 million trees later in the year.
India is not the only country to take practical steps on a national level to redress deforestation – other countries, for example Indonesia, Africa and Australia, have committed to tree-planting. Indonesia, a decade ago, attempted to plant nearly 80 million trees in a single day. More recently, in 2016, 10 African nations pledged to reforest 31.7 million hectares as part of the African Forest Landscape Restorative Initiatives. Closer to home, a team of Australian engineers has developed technology that will allow the planting of one billion trees every year by drone.
Australia’s efforts do not stop there, of course - Planet Ark’s National Tree Day is coming up on the 30th of July. National Tree Day, now 21 years old, is Australia's largest community tree-planting and nature care event and is your way to get hands-on and support the environment at the local level. Visit Planet Ark for more information.
- Get involved! Participate in National Tree Day. Learn more here.
- Watch the World Economic Forum’s video covering India’s tree-planting event from the World Economic Forum
- Read more about India’s Paris Agreement climate pledge at the Natural Resources Defense Council
- Read more about Australia’s engineers planning trees by drone
Subscribe to Positive Environment News.
Positive Environment News has been compiled using publicly available information. Planet Ark does not take responsibility for the accuracy of the original information and encourages readers to check the references before using this information for their own purposes.
- Brush-tailed phascogale makes a surprise appearance on revegetated islands »
A cute surprise awaited conservationists on the mid-north coast of New South Wales when they found an unexpected guest, ... More »
- Facing down fast fashion with up-cycled clothes »
In an effort to curb the environmental and ethical cost of textiles manufacturing and waste, more and more people are ch... More »
- Decades of community action brings a disappearing frogmouth back from the brink »
A joint effort by Queensland's Sunshine Coast Council and local volunteers has kept the marbled frogmouth in the Blackal... More »
- Back from the brink: recent 'baby boom' offers new hope for endangered southern right whale »
Recent sightings of southern right whale mothers and babies off the coast of southern Australia are an encouraging sign ... More »
- Picky plants: Growing green in difficult environments »
Plants have a few basic needs for survival: light, water, air, nutrients. Not all environments in Australia can satisfy ... More »
- How indoor plants can give city-slickers a literal breath of fresh air »
Making time for nature can be a hard ask for people living in metropolitan areas, but new research has found that even i... More »
- Island sanctuary brings hope to dwindling quokka population »
The 'world's happiest animal' has every reason to be smiling, as their numbers - listed as vulnerable - are rapidly incr... More »
- The little Brown Antechinus makes a comeback at Sydney's North Head »
The Brown Antechinus might look like a small brown rodent, but is in fact a native carnivorous marsupial. After several ... More »
- 81-Year-Old Lebanese woman inspires a nation to recycle »
Two years ago Lebanon's waste mismanagement crisis was in the spotlight. Enter now 81-year-old Zeinab Mokalled who set u... More »
- How you can make the most of Planet Ark's new research into outdoor learning »
In the lead up to National Tree Day we look at Planet Ark's new research and how parents and teachers alike can help kid... More »
- Capturing Carbon to Tackle Climate Change »
Greenhouse gases - particularly carbon dioxide - remain in our environment for many years, contributing to the warming o... More »
- Futureproofing the Lockyer Valley with 20'000 trees »
The Lockyer Valley will be better protected from future floods and Queensland's waterways will be kept clean by over 20,... More »
- Green Clean for Sydney's Opera House »
A 50-year love affair between man and building nurtured with bicarb soda, olive oil and devotion.... More »
- Dugong Numbers on the Rise Again in the Great Barrier Reef »
Dugongs - or sea cows - are the only marine mammals that live mostly on plants, grazing on seagrass, which forms meadows... More »
- Answering the Call to Connect With Nature »
The theme of this year's World Environment Day, 'Connecting People to Nature', encourages everyone around the world to s... More »