800,000 volunteers tried to break the world record by planting 50 million trees within 24 hours in India’s most populous and famous state, Uttar Pradesh. The current record is 847,275, set in Pakistan in 2013.
More than 800,000 people including students, lawmakers, government officials and volunteers from nonprofit organizations attempted to plant the saplings at designated spots along roads, highways and forest lands.
Akhilesh Yadav, the Chief Minister of the state, said that planting 50 million trees would spread awareness and enthusiasm about environmental issues. Yadav also said, “The world has realized that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change. Uttar Pradesh has made a beginning in this regard.”
India’s government is encouraging all 29 states to start tree planting to increase country’s forest cover as part of commitments made at last year’s climate summit in Paris. The government’s budget for tree planting is more than $6.2 billion dollars with the goal to push India’s forest cover to 95 million hectares (235 million acres) by 2030.
Last year, Uttar Pradesh entered Guinness World Records for the largest distribution of saplings by donating more than 1 million trees that were planted at 10 different locations in the state.