India attempted to break a tree-planting Guinness world record by planting 49.3 million trees in 24 hours, nearly meeting their goal of 50 million but still crushing the previous world record of 847,275, set in Pakistan in 2013.

More than 800,000 students, government officials, and volunteers took part in the mass tree-planting exercise in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.
Edward Parson, environmental law professor at the University of California, said that the initiative was a step towards progress in contributing to India’s greater climate commitments.

According to Dr. Anit Mukherjee of the Center for Global Development. The biggest contribution of the tree planting project apart from the tokenism was that it focused on issues such as Pollution, deforestation, and land use.

Officials involved with the project said that roughly 60 per cent of the seedlings planted are expected to survive, with the rest expected to die due to disease or lack of water.
It could take up to two months for the Guinness Book of World Records to verify whether the Uttar Pradesh project has broken Pakistan’s record.

In India, air pollution kills more than half a million people per year. Planting seedlings won’t cure the country’s air quality problem, but the volunteers hoped getting their hands dirty would raise awareness. The Indian government has designated $6.2 billion for states to start their own tree-planting drives.