Success Stories

One Man Plants a Forest Bigger Than Central Park

Aug 20, 2017

In a remote northeastern region of India, one man planted a forest that has grown larger than New York City’s Central Park.

Majuli is an island home to 150,000 people, but sadly, it’s the victim of erosion. Even though flooding and erosion affects other areas, such as the mainland of Jorhat, erosion could possibly dissolve the island of Majuli. The people of Majuli have lost homes because of the rising waters. Over the past 100 years, Majuli has lost over 70 per cent of its landmass.

As a teenager in the 1970s, Jadav Payeng noticed the erosion and decided to do something about it. Jadav started scattering seeds and stabbing the bare earth repeatedly with a stick to forge holes deep enough for the delicate roots. The goal was to grow a forest to hold off erosion in the area. Jadav did a small amount each day, planting one tree at a time, and now it’s grown larger than Central park.

Because of this man’s efforts, endangered species, such as Bengal tigers, elephants and vultures, have returned to the island. Other species of animals thrive as well, along with plants and various vegetation.

"I am just a simple man. There are many just like me."

- Jadav Payeng

Jadav continues to plant trees with the help of his family. And do to the compound effect, the planting is much easier than when he started, having seeds from established trees to grow more. Imagine, if one person can create such change, how much 5 or 10 people could do.

comments powered by Disqus