300,000 Trees Planted in India for Disaster Relief, Biodiversity, and Social Impact

Kaylee Brzezinski & Diana Chaplin | February 12, 2020 | 4 min read

300,000 Trees Planted in India for Disaster Relief, Biodiversity, and Social Impact

What began as a relatively small environmental disaster relief project in India in early 2019 has now resulted in 300,000 trees planted, with plans for many more in 2020! Thanks to your support, we are honored to contribute to reforestation efforts throughout India for a multitude of environmental and social benefits, and we'd like to share these stories with you today.

In Uttar Pradesh, moringa trees were planted as a solution to areas prone to drought. In West Bengal, mangrove trees were planted for climate resilience in the Sundarbans. And in Odisha, fruit trees were planted after cyclone Fani resulted in many families losing their food-producing gardens.

overview of sunderbans reforestation
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100,000 Moringa Trees Planted in Uttar Pradesh

Bundelkhand (the region in which Uttar Pradesh is situated) is an arid, drought prone area in central India, which has been experiencing severe drought since 2007. The rainfall here has also been decreasing year after year. It is normal for this region to experience a monsoon season between June and October - which typically provides 90% of the precipitation for the entire year - but the season has not been delivering as much rainfall as it has in the past.

Home to a large tribal population, Uttar Pradesh is further affected by hunger and poverty with child malnutrition rates among the highest in Asia.

The moringa trees which were planted in Uttar Pradesh provide many benefits. When pruned early, they will stay low and spread like a shrub, making it very easy to harvest the leaves, flower, and pods - all of which are high sources of minerals and vitamins to combat infant malnutrition. Moringa is also known to grow extremely fast, and its leaves can be harvested every two months thereby providing a constant source of food and nutrition in arid and infertile areas. The leaves of the moringa tree are an excellent source of vitamins A, B, C, and many minerals. Not only will the newly planted trees help provide health benefits, they will also help mitigate the drought issue as trees help replenish water supplies in soil. 

100,000 Mangrove Trees Planted in Sundarbans

The Sundarbans is known as a mangrove forest, including the Sundarbans National Park which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1987. The ecosystem in the Sundarbans is considered a natural wonder of the world due to its bird, fish, mammal, and amphibian biodiversity, as well as being known as one of the most famous tiger zones on the planet - home to the endangered Bengal Tiger.

A large concern for the area is its rising sea levels due to climate change. Areas of coastal land have already collapsed through the years from aggressive storms. But restoring mangrove trees will provide many benefits to the Sundarbans, including reducing the impact of rising stormwaters, enhancing biodiversity, and providing a social impact to local communities via climate resilience and healthy fisheries.

These mangroves become breeding nurseries for small fish, crab, and other crustaceans, all while sequestering carbon and acting as a protective buffer zone for the community against tidal waves and cyclonic storms. This project of 100,000 trees also served as a pilot project, and we are now preparing to plant over 1 million mangrove trees in this area in 2020.

The truly extraordinary thing about mangroves is that they love both land and sea, growing happily along coastline ecosystems with their roots in water and their leaves in the sun. The planted process is illustrated in the video above, which has to be conducted very thoughtfully during a short window of time during the day in low tide. But don't worry, the little trees won't drown when the tide comes in; they will establish their roots and continue to grow as they reach upwards towards the sun, sometimes submerged and sometimes exposed over time.

odisha seedling truck cyclone fani reforestation
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100,000 Fruit Trees Planted in Odisha for Cyclone Fani Recovery

In May of 2019, Cyclone Fani made landfall in the Indian state of Odisha off the country's eastern coast. As the biggest storm to hit India in 20 years, Fani uprooted several million trees. A significant portion of these trees were in the city of Puri, maintained by small-holder farmers who grew them for both food and income. The environmental destruction resulted in a loss of nutrition, health, and survival - along with a loss of biodiversity and climate balance. The overall economic damage is estimated to be over 8 billion dollars, with many families losing their homes and livelihoods.

But just as people must rebuild their lives and infrastructure, nature must also be restored, and that's where One Tree Planted was able to help. Through reforestation of a variety of fruit trees, including the addition of beneficial compost to help restore the soil, this project was able to reduce deforestation of natural forests, restore soil quality for future regeneration, and improve rural living standards and nutrition for families.

Thanks to our amazing on the ground partners and volunteers, we have been able to get many trees into the ground in India and we are nowhere close to finished! We have some pretty exciting projects in store for India in 2020.

Thanks for your support in the amazing work being done in India and many other reforestation projects we have around the world.

Feeling inspired? Help plant a tree in India today!

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Plant Trees in India - One Tree Planted
Plant Trees in India - One Tree Planted
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Plant Trees in India - One Tree Planted
Plant Trees in India - One Tree Planted
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India

Ranging from the Indian Ocean to the Himalayas, from the Bay of Bengal to the Hindu Kush, India's forests reflect the subcontinent's great diversity of landscapes & ecosystems. Learn more

With your help, we will:

  • Reduce hunger & malnutrition
  • Support at-risk coastal ecosystems
  • Assist marginalized communities by increasing income
  • India is a vast land full of contrasts. Moist and dry tropical forests, temperate and subtropical montane forests, alpine forests and mangrove forests are all found here. Recognized as one of the 17 “megadiverse” countries, around 8% of the world's flora and fauna is found in India, including species like Bengal Tigers. With nearly 3,000, India supports the largest population globally. Additionally, India's forests support the livelihoods of almost 275 million people, who depend on them for food, fuelwood, fodder and other forest products.
  • Our work in India is primarily focused on planting fruit trees. Our amazing partners are working with local communities across twelve Indian states to plant fruit trees to fight hunger, improve local economies, and combat climate change. Your support will help us make a huge difference. Each fruit tree we plant will equate to at least $10 USD in food and nutrition each year, with a cumulative value of 5 million dollars garnered over the next 50-60 years. While the socioeconomic benefits of this effort are undeniable, there are many ecological benefits too. India has some of the worst air quality in the world which is a massive drain on human health. Cue trees, which filter the air, trap pollutants, and provide thousands of pounds of breathable oxygen over their lifetimes.
  • A personalized tree certificate (see gallery) to say thanks for your donation. We'll also send you updates on our India project, so you can track the impact your trees are having on the community and environment.
  • The species we are currently planting across India include fruit trees such as apricot, banana, guava, jackfruit, lemon, moringa, lemon, papaya, pear, peach, pomegranate and many more. Moringa, papaya, and banana grow quickly and will provide food and fruit within 8-10 months of planting. Whereas, species like lemon, guava, apricot, pear, peach, and jujubes produce fruit within 3 years, but will ultimately provide a steady supply of food and income to small farmers in the long term.

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