Mammoth tree-planting effort on the river Ganges - National Tree Day Blog

Mammoth tree-planting effort on the river Ganges

An estimated two million people gathered in India recently to plant an incredible 20 million trees along the banks of the nation’s holiest river, all while social-distancing!

The planting took place in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh, which has a number of wilderness areas and wide-open spaces despite being the country’s most populous state. State officials distributed millions of saplings as part of India’s national pledge to ensure a third of its total land area remains under forest and tree cover.

Participants included lawmakers, government officials, volunteers from non-profit organisations and members of the public, all taking care to socially distance in one of the countries hardest hit by coronavirus.

“We are committed to increase the forest cover of Uttar Pradesh to over 15% of the total land area in next five years,” the state’s chief minister, Yogi Adityanath, told AP News during a press conference aimed at inaugurating the campaign in Lucknow, the state capital. 

“In today’s campaign, over 20 million trees will be planted at the banks of the Ganges river, which will help in keeping this mighty river clean.”

A key part of any mass planting campaign is ensuring the long-term survival of the saplings planted. In order to increase the likelihood of trees surviving, Uttar Pradesh government spokesperson Awanish Awasthi said the entire plantation drive is being video taped and trees are being tagged so records can be kept.

Liam Taylor

Prior to joining Planet Ark Liam spent his time studying global environmental issues, travelling Southeast Asia on the cheap and working for a sustainable property management company in Bali, Indonesia. Joining the communications team at Planet Ark, he hopes to inspire positive environmental behaviour through effective and positive messaging.