Volunteers in India Do it Again–Planting 250 Million Saplings in Single Day and Seeing 80% Survival Rate

In just a single day, Indians have planted an impressive quarter-billion tree saplings.

Whereas mass tree planting operations around the globe are receiving more and more skepticism for their actual impacts on climate stabilization, the last four major plantings in the state of Uttar Pradesh have climbed to an impressive average saplings survival rate of 80%.

As per Peter Wohlleben, the renowned German forester and author of The Secret Life of Trees, our woody neighbors need an average 50 years of growing before any carbon can actually be considered “sequestered,” so the fact that many of Uttar Pradesh’s new trees are now four going on five means there’s a much better chance for them to survive pests, drought, or other dangers to become contributing members of tree society.

Along riverbanks and highways, and on farms, schools, and in forests, Sunday saw millions of residents of the most-populous Indian state continue what is now a yearly tradition (a year ago, 20 million saplings were planted along the Ganges).

“We are committed to increasing the forest cover of Uttar Pradesh to over 15% of the total land area in the next five years,” said state forest official Manoj Singh.

According to DW, the forest cover of the state has increased over the last few years.

“There has been an increase of 127 square kilometers [79 square miles] in the forest cover in Uttar Pradesh as compared to 2017,” a state government spokesperson was quoted as saying in The Indian Express newspaper.

Mass tree plantings have been launched as an easy and inexpensive method of drawing carbon from the atmosphere, with hundreds of millions of trees being planted in countries around the world, including in China, Pakistan, India, Madagascar, and the nations of the Sahel, especially Ethiopia and Senegal, GNN has reported.

Geo-tagged with QR codes, forest officials can monitor plantation survival rates and maintain records of success and failure at individual sites.