India’s Mass Tree Planting Success: Forest Cover Grows by Half-Million Acres in Two Years
A recent report from the Forest Survey of India (FSI) found that recent spurious tree planting activities have taken root in terms of the overall forest coverage in the nation.
The country’s forests have grown by 870 square square miles of forest cover—over half a million acres (2,261 square kilometers), over the last three years, and while that isn’t as big as a medium-sized American national park, the sum is part of an equation that includes deforestation.
A full quarter of the world’s second-most populous nation is covered in forest, which the FSI is focused on making qualitatively rich, not just quantitively.
The three Indian states showing the highest increases in forest cover are Andhra Pradesh with 250 square miles (647 square km), followed by Telangana with 242 square miles (632 square km), and Odisha with 207 square miles (537 square km).
Also compared with losses, mangrove forest coverage has increased by 17 square miles.
During the last few years there have been some monumental tree planting efforts undertaken—sometimes in mere hours, by Indians. In 2016, Indians planted 50 million trees in a single day in the state of Uttar Pradesh, which broke a world record set by Pakistan by around 49 million.
A year later, volunteers in Madhya Pradesh planted 66 million trees, another world record.
And India’s love of tree planting is not all monumental efforts. For example in the village of Piplantri, Rajasthan, they combat the historical prejudice against daughters by planting 111 trees upon the birth of every baby girl.