Greenpop - Local charity share their incredible tree planting story this Arbour month
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India’s Forest Man started planting trees on the worlds largest river island in 1979. Today it’s even bigger than Central Park!


In 1979 a man by the name of Jadav Payeng started planting trees in a wasteland. He went to this area every single day and planted a new tree. Now over 40 years later, he has planted something so spectacular they created a small documentary about him.

The forest he planted is now bigger than New York City’s Central Park. When Jadav started out, he planted a few seeds on a barren space and now the forest is over 500 hectares, 3 months out of the year it is home to elephants and now boasts a population of Indian rhino as well as tigers.

“It’s not as if I did it alone,” Paying told NPR. “You plant one or two trees, and they have to seed. And once they seed, the wind knows how to plant them, the birds here know how to sow them, cows know, elephants know, even the … river knows. The entire ecosystem knows.”

Jadav’s biggest fear is that men will come and exploit his life’s work for economic gain. The site has applied for a Unesco World Heritage listing but has yet to be successful.

He continues his work every day as he knows that every tree he plants, he saves a family from flood season. The island where the forest has been planted is getting smaller each year due to seasonal flooding and erosion. Jadav has a plan to make sure the island stays intact and the damage done by floods is reduced.

“I am just a simple man… There are many like me!” – Jadav Payeng

Jadav is the perfect example of one person being able to make all the difference in the world. His efforts over the last 40 years have meant a whole new ecosystem exists.

You can watch his story below.

Sources: YouTube
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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