With a population of over 1.2 billion people, air pollution in India is a serious issue.
In response to this, India has pledged to increase its forest cover to 95 million hectares by 2030, a promise they commited to at the recent Paris Climate Change Conference.
The government has since allowed $6.2 billion to ensure this happens.
In 2013, Pakistan made headlines for breaking the Guinness World Record for most saplings planted in a 24 hour period (847,275 trees), but India has just broken this.
On Monday July 11, more than 800,000 people volunteered to take place in a monumental event. Over a 24 hour period in Uttar Pradesh, one of India’s most densely populated states, 49.3 million saplings were planted.
The saplings consisted of nearly 80 different species of trees from over 950 different nurseries.
The mass-planting was organised to raise awareness for the importance of acting to combat climate change.
“The world has realised 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,” Chief Minister, Akhilesh Yadav told volunteers, according to Associated Press.
While the long-term health of these plants remain uncertain, the efforts to improve India’s air quality is a step in the right direction.