Today’s Solutions: May 19, 2024

India is committed to keeping a third of its total land area under forest and tree cover. In recent years the country has mobilized millions of people to plant tree saplings across the country, and plans were in place to do the same in the state of Uttar Pradesh on July 5th.

The mass-planting event could have been canceled due to coronavirus, but instead, the initiative went through with strict social distancing orders in place. The tree-planting event saw an incredible 2 million people participate as 250 million trees were planted along river banks, on farmlands, and along the sides of government buildings in north India.

Those who gathered for the tree planting on Sunday included lawmakers, government officials, and volunteers from nonprofit organizations. With India fourth in the world in coronavirus cases, those who gathered kept their distance from each other.

The long-term survival of trees planted in such mass campaigns remains a concern. Usually, only 60% of saplings survive, with the rest succumbing to disease or lack of water. Uttar Pradesh government spokesperson Awanish Awasthi said the entire plantation drive is being videotaped and trees are being tagged so records can be kept. Hopefully, that will help the state make sure that these trees survive, or better yet, thrive.

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