The State of Uttar Pradesh in India has enough space for everyone to grow a tree- in fact, enough space for everyone to grow a lot of trees while maintaining social distancing. As census surveys go, around 2 million people can plant 250 million trees while maintaining social distancing. Despite coronavirus moving quite swiftly throughout the country, the government doesn’t believe its threat to be that imminent. This has led to them so not dissuading people from planting trees under the pledge to cover a third of India under trees by 2030. The target acreage of the nation is 235 million acres, which is roughly the size of both New Mexico, and Texas combined.
The entire event took place last week where thousands and thousands of volunteers, activists, environmentalists, government employees, and even lawmakers got together to plant trees. Social distancing was maintained strictly, with people also wearing masks to stop coronavirus from spreading even faster. The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Yogi Adityanath stated that the plan was to increase the forest cover of Uttar Pradesh more than 15% of its total land area. The day’s campaign led to close to 20 million trees being planted by the side of the river Ganges, which should be enough to keep it clean.
2030 has been the deadline for many countries to achieve sustainable development in some form or the other. This will coincide with the United Nations’ 18 Sustainable Development Goals which has been entirely designed to help nations solve problems like famine, poverty, diseases, hunger, education, and access to clean water, etc. Tree plantings have been seen as the easiest of ways to bring back carbon from the atmosphere, with several countries participating in the process. There have been quite a few mass planting schemes in countries like India, Pakistan, China, Madagascar, Senegal, and Ethiopia.
जहाँ हरियाली, वहां खुशहाली.🌳🌴🌱
उत्तर प्रदेश सरकार की “25 करोड़ वरक्षरोपण मिशन 2020” में नोडल ऑफ़िसर के रूप में आज गोंडा जनपद में लगभग 40 लाख पौधे लगाकर “पर्यावरण को समृद्ध” बनाने की एक पहल की गयी।
ज़िलाधिकारी, मुख्य विकास अधिकारी और वन अधिकारियों के संयुक्त विशेष प्रयास।😊 pic.twitter.com/Ntp0mdU31D
— Raj Shekhar IAS (@rajiasup) July 5, 2020
While it goes without saying that not every tree planted in this scheme will survive, and quite a few will indeed shrivel up, yet it is still the best and cheapest way of returning any piece of land back to a state of fertility. If one were to compare the scheme where individuals plant 250 million trees with the expenses in transportation infrastructure- this seems like a bargain.
Although the government of Uttar Pradesh did proclaim the distribution of a million seeds throughout the land, the job doesn’t exactly become easier. With an ever-increasing growth in population and an aggravating demand for industrial projects, the pledge to cover most of India under shade can be quite a distant future. With Uttar Pradesh showing everyone the way, other states will also get to planting trees whenever and wherever possible- while maintaining strict social distancing protocols.
Awanish Awasthi, the spokesperson for the Uttar Pradesh government mentioned that the entire event has been recorded, and every single tree tagged. This will not only help authorities keep a record, but it would also make it easier to plant 250 million trees over a large expanse of land.
— Shishir (@ShishirGoUP) July 5, 2020
Image Credit: Raj Shekhar IAS