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Reforestation: Ecuador plants 647,250 trees, breaks Guinness record

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

Forests are one of the most important natural resources that have been gifted to mankind for its sustained existence on earth. Conservation of forests is, therefore, a necessity that requires to be addressed as a priority.

Recently, Ecuador broke the world record for restoration when thousands of people planted 647,250 trees of more than 200 species.

“I have just been informed that we have broken the Guinness record for reforestation,” said President Rafael Correa.

Explaining about the adopted measures taken for restoration, Correa said, “The seedlings were planted all over Ecuador, which boasts varied geography from its Pacific coast, high Andean peaks and low Amazon basin areas.”

Environment Minister Lorena Tapia tweeted that 44,883 people planted the trees on more than 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of land.

Hundreds of varieties of plants and trees were planted as part of the mass reforestation effort, said Carlos Martinez, Guinness Records adjudicator.

“There is no record in history of similar events involving over 150 species,” he told Agence France-Presse.

Volunteers who planted trees in more than 150 spots across Ecuador said that while they were proud of the record, they wouldn’t mind seeing it broken again.

Last September, Philippines broke the record for the most trees planted in an hour with 3.2 million seedlings sown as a part of a national forestation program.

Ecuador holds several other world records, including the most plastic bottles recycled in one week and the most people buried in sand simultaneously, as per Guinness.

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Jadav Molai Peyang: Forest Man of India

Jadav Molai Peyang, 'Forest Man of India' single-handedly plants 1360 acre of forest on a barren sandbar.

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Indian Forest Man
Jadav Peyang, Forest Man of India. Wikimedia Commons.

There are many international organizations that have been working to save our planet from many harms of deforestation but there is one Indian man who, single-handedly, gave rise to the forest in 1360 acre land and converted it into the man-made forest in India and that man is Jadav Molai Peyang.
Jadav Peyang’s story was first discovered by journalist Jitu Kalita when he was stalking the vultures on the other end of Arun Sapori, an over 1,000-hectare riverine island on the Brahmaputra when he saw the forested area and found Peyang’s story there.
The forest man has planted over 1500-saplings since 1980 which has grown into the famous, Molai Kathoni, the forest famously named after his maker. Peyang had started this initiative as a teenager who started planting bamboo in the woodland after he had witnessed deaths of several snakes at the shore when water had resided from the area after a flood. Following that horrifying scenario, he sought the advice from the village elders who asked him to grow a forest as only the forest can save the lives of birds and animals. Since then, Peyang’s Molai Forest has developed its own ecosystem as deer, rabbits, rhinoceros, Bengal tigers, birds, insects have inhabited the forest which consists of trees such as Bamboo, valcol, Arjun, Pride of India, silk trees, cotton trees, to name a few. But it was a herd of 100 elephants that brought the attention of Assam’s forest department on Peyang in 2008. The elephants pay a yearly visit to his forest and give birth to their calves in the comfort there.
But the journey of creating a barren sandbar in the middle of the river Brahmaputra of Assam into the thriving forest that it is today wasn’t easy.
In the initial stages, he found planting trees extremely difficult and time-consuming but now as he gets the seeds from the trees, the forest seems to live on itself.
The forest man was the first part of the 5-year project launched by the Assam Forestry Division in Aruna Chapori in 1980 with an aim to reforest two hundred hectares of land. Peyang enrolled for the job and started planting trees for the project though, the project was finished in five years, Peyang had stayed and spread his own project bigger than Central Park, NYC (842.6 acres). Since his first project, he has been invited to several environmental conferences, conferred many honors among which is Padam Shri, the highest civilian award and ‘Forest Man of India’ by JNU along with the recent honor bestowed on Jitu Kalita and Jadav Peyang by Taiwan Government for their efforts.
The forest man’s story is full of inspiration and compassion as he keeps providing shelter to various insects and animals while his family, which consists of two sons, a daughter, and his wife subsides on the income provided by their livestock, there is a lot to learn from him. He had braved several threats and all he has to say to them, ‘Kill me first, before you kill my forest,’ but his ideas for the world remains unknown among the several honors.

Samridhi Nain. Samridhi is a student of Philosophy (Hons.) from University of Delhi.

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