“Do not erect a memorial when I die,” reads the will of Indian union environment minister Anil Madhav Dave, who died on May 18, 2017, “but plant a tree if you loved and respected me.”
The late Minister had reasons to worry. Between 1880 and 2013 India lost about 40% of its forest cover. Today, only 24% of its area is under forests, according to government data. The government of India announced in COP21 its long-term goal to bring 33% of India’s geographical area under forest cover by 2030 and also to create an additional carbon sink of 2.5 to 3 billion tonnes of CO2 equivalent through additional forest and tree cover by the same time.
Earth Day Network’s #Trees4Earth campaign has gathered nearly 665 million tree planting pledges in India since February 2016. And the numbers are coming almost daily. State government forest departments, corporate organizations, educational institutes, NGOs, even individuals have pledged to plant. While large numbers are from governments – for instance, Chhattisgarh planted 80 million saplings in one day, individuals have also been contributing with pledges. The Canopy Project hopes to inspire people to plant a total of 7.8 billion trees – one for every human on Earth by 2020.
Earth Day Network is working hard to fight climate change. Support our Canopy Project reforestation campaign to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide. You can also support our efforts to bring climate and environmental literacy to every student though our environmental education campaign and sign up for the Educator’s Network here.
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