Ecuadorians pledged to protect their land from turning into a desolate, barren wasteland and united to plant thousands of trees. Such was the response; they set a world record for reforesting a large patch of land in a single day.
The citizens of Ecuador collectively broke the world record for reforestation, planting 647,250 tree saplings in a single day, announced President Rafael Correa in his weekly address.
“I have just been informed that we have broken the Guinness record for reforestation.”
Ecuador has a very varied geography and ecology. So volunteers planted several different species. The reforestation efforts took place all over. The collaborative effort was organized by the Ecuadoran government under an public-private initiative called “Siembratón.” It involved ensuring the land was replanted to slow down the erosion caused due to massive deforestation and hopefully arrested, in the near future.
Recognizing the efforts by 44,883 Ecuadorians, the Guinness Records adjudicator confirmed that there’s no such record in existence, particularly involving planting over 150 varied species of flora. Interestingly though, a similar record did exist, set last year by group in the Philippines. The locals there had planted 2,294,629 rubber, cacao, coffee, timber fruit, and mahogany trees in 29 different locations. As for the speed of reforestation, the Australian group Men of the Trees holds the record of planting 100,450 trees at Whiteman Park in Perth, Australia, in one hour.
Local news agencies reported that people planted an estimated 216 species of trees across some 2,000 hectares of land in 150 locations ranging from the Pacific coastal region to the Amazonian basin to the high Andean mountains. Ecuador claims it didn’t plant these many trees to set any permanent record, shared Ricardo Quiroga, a government employee who volunteered as a planter.
“The record was not set to win a contest, but in the hope that everyone would beat it. I want to beat it once a month so the planet will be full of trees in very little time, which is what we need.”
Trees planted included alder, wild cherry, willow, cedar, rosemary, lignum vitae, myrtle, podocarpus, carob, cholan, laurel silk guarando, eugenia, mahogany, paper tree, walnut, fig tree, arabisco, and many others.
Ecuadoran Environment Minister Lorena Tapia Núñez added.
“This event was part of a broader effort to reforest 500,000 hectares, which would effectively zero out the country’s current deforestation rate.”
While it is good to see local citizens vying to ensure their region stays green, perhaps it might be wise to consider countering mechanized deforestation with automated forestation.
[Image Credit | Dolores Ochoa/AP, AFP]