In 2013, Pakistan set the world record for most trees planted in a single day with 847,275. According to the Associated Press, officials in Uttar Pradesh, India and a large group of volunteers recently tried to break that record—and not by just a few trees, but by millions.
On Monday July 11, more than 800,000 people of all ages and professions set out to plant 50 million saplings along roads, train tracks, and in forest lands.
The effort, led by Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav, was more than a gimmick to earn another page in the record books. Yadav told volunteers that the attempt was organized as a way to spread awareness about the environment and the harm that humans are doing to it.
"The world has realized 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," he said.
Once planted, the trees will be monitored for success and growth, as only around 60 percent are expected to survive. The Associated Press reports that the Indian government has made a concerted effort to get the entire country involved in planting efforts and has allocated $6.2 billion toward the goal of getting India's forests up to 235 million acres by 2030.
Guinness World Records deployed "incognito" auditors to supervise the planting and to get an official count, which will take longer than the 24-hour planting window. But the country already has the advantage, with nearly as many volunteers as trees from the previous record.
[h/t Associated Press]
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