As I mentioned it there, the Chinese government is planting billion of trees. It seems that similar projects are under way in India and elsewhere.
According to the United Nations Environment Program more than 10 million trees were planted on July 31st by 600,000 people in Uttar Pradesh.
As deforestation accounts for a fifth of current anthropogenic greenhouse gases emissions, it is worth talking about such an ambitious plan.
The UNEP states in its press release :
The Forest Department of the Government of Uttar Pradesh, the most populous State of India, has succeeded in planting 10.5 million trees in a single day on 31 July 2007.
This ambitious project, to which 600,000 people participated, was meant to raise the awareness of residents of the State towards the importance of tree-planting and the vital role of trees in correcting ecological imbalances, removing the environmental pollution and increasing tree cover. The decision to launch this unique operation was taken at the Governmental level.
The saplings were planted by school children, the local population, farmers, industrial units, government departments and the forest department. The object of the exercise was to make tree plantation a people’s participatory activity with people from a vast cross-section of society participating in the planting of the saplings at 9,320 different sites across the seventy districts of the State.
Of these 43.72 % are farmer’s sites, 9.14% forest department’s sites, 38.01% educational institution’s sites, 6.33% other government department’s sites and rest sites are of other institutions. The planting activity on all sites have been photographed and will be authenticated.
The whole effort of planting over ten million saplings on one day was coordinated centrally from the State capital at Lucknow. Detailed plans were prepared which included details of the sites along with GPS based locations, the species of saplings to be planted, the source of the seedlings, as well as the name of site coordinators, photographers and videographers.
In India, 31 July was an auspicious day as it represented the first day of Shrawan, according to the Hindu calendar. The exercise gave a boost to the Billion Tree Campaign.
Organizers also recalled that the theme of World Environment Day 2007 was “Melting Ice – A Hot Topic” and the Forest Department of Uttar Pradesh will also help to address the issues of global warming, expansion of tree cover and carbon sequestration.
Afforestation efforts help in the long run the development of countries as the soil gains nutrients and erosion risks are decreased.
In his book “Collapse, how societies choose to fail or succeed“, Dr. Jared Diamond stresses the importances of such practices. Indeed, societies that completely deforested disappeared. It was the case for the civilization on Easter Island and many others.
An article on this great book will be released this week.
It is also worth to be noticed that Prof. Wangari Maathai was awarded the Peace Nobel Prize of 2004 for having founded the Green Belt Movement in Kenya. This movement planted over 30 million trees to prevent soil erosion.
To learn out more, please check the UNEP page on the Billion Tree Campaign in India or the more global Plant for the Planet initiative.
Global pledges include the planting of a billion trees worldwide during the year 2007. Already more than 71,000,000 trees have been.