The Tree Box Initiative and Rotary Club will attempt a world record on September 20 with a tree plantation event to create a “Mega Man Made Forest”. The organizations recently joined hands to plant 2 lakh saplings in Mumbai and are inviting citizens to celebrate the Month of Million Trees by creating a Mega Man-Made Forest on a 97-acre piece of land.
We reached out to Harsh Vaidya, Founder, The Tree Box Initiative to understand more about the world record attempt, strategies , steps to reverse global warming and more. Here is excerpt :-
Q. Can you share with our readers a bit more about the world record attempt? Is the idea behind this event is to create a substitute to Aarey forests?
Several Decades ago there were trees everywhere. Yes practically everywhere, over the years human civilization led to cutting of these trees in order to make place for them to live. We a group of people are now trying to come together and plant some of the trees back again for the next generation to enjoy cleaner environment and appropriate climate too.
Yes we are in a process of creating 10 Aarey forests around Mumbai and will be making one each year starting this year and call it Mega Man Made Forest.
Q. Last year more than a million people in India planted 220 million trees in country’s most populous state. Planting a sapling to transforming it to a forest needs continuous monitoring and engagement, what strategies have been put into place to check that it successfully turns into a mega man-made forest?
We have been working with the Forest Department and the Local tribal community as well. Once planted in the non-monsoon seasons we will have these villagers taking care of the saplings grown and will ensure they become self-sufficient in next 15 months’ time. Regular Quality checks will be performed by our team and ensure they are taken care of.
Q.Do you believe that world leaders are doing enough to change things and save the planet?
I don’t know about any one I want to ensure that when someone asks me What have you done to save this planet and make it greener I have a story to tell. I wish everyone else does this too as this place isn’t only for leaders to live it’s a place for all of us. Hence it should be a team effort starting with Myself
Q.What kind of policy do you think the Indian government should bring in to make the country a leader in greener tomorrow?
A policy which we want is to make it compulsory for every citizen to plant 1 tree every year and all students to plant 10 trees and take care of them until they are self-sufficient.
Q.What are the necessary steps to reverse global warming?
The secret to any successful plan is to have more than what we use. The same way we should have more trees than what we really need them for. When any city will have more trees than the number of people living in the city. Success is achieved.
Q.According to a study, scientists say planting a trillion trees globally could be the single most effective way to fight climate change. But rather than adding trees, in many parts of the world, they’re being cut down on a massive scale or have been set on fire (Amazon forest fire to recall the latest one). Do you think deforestation in country like India – be it to develop roads or for individual purpose fails to gain traction it needs to, looking into the seriousness of global warming?
Infrastructure development is the need for any developing country. If there are rules which say that every citizen grows a tree and every student grows 10 irrespective of the infrastructure development 99% of the problems end there.
Even in India we should focus at first growing 100 crore trees immediately and then talk about other crucial issues since we do not stop breathing hence this is necessary.