Ecuador breaks world record for reforestation

In environmental and conservation news, it’s often easy to get overwhelmed by heartbreaking statistics on climate change, biodiversity loss and habitat destruction but sometimes it’s good to highlight some of the positive record breaking numbers.

Deforestation is one of today’s biggest problems especially in tropical and rainforest regions; impacting species, the local communities and our climate as a whole but some countries are doing big things to tackle its effects. Several nations including Brazil, Peru and Colombia have all set targets for zero net deforestation in the next 10-20 years but one neighbouring country is breaking records in its attempts to reach targets.

Earlier this year, Ecuador broke the Guinness World Record for its people’s participation in mass reforestation. On May 16th 2015 a total of 57,512 Ecuadorian citizens volunteered their time to take part in the event organised by the Ministry for the Environment to help plant hundreds of thousands of plants in locations throughout the country.

In the end 765,073 plants of 237 different species were planted in the bid resulting in an area of 2,269 hectares being reforested. Now holding the Guinness World Record for the most plant species planted in eight hours in multiple locations, Ecuadorian Minister of Environment Lorena Tapia praised the event as an opportunity to “show Ecuador is committed to the protection of the environment” and that people can make positive contribution to the countries environmental targets.

Children take part in Ecuador’s reforestation record attempt (Photo Credit: Dolores Ochoa)

Children take part in Ecuador’s reforestation record attempt (Photo Credit: Dolores Ochoa)

Ecuador is currently aiming to reforest 500,000 hectares and to reach zero net deforestation by 2017 and with the success of such events this can only boost the country’s enthusiasm to reach such goals.

Similar records include the most trees planted simultaneously at multiple locations which is currently held by a group in the Philippines where 122,168 volunteers planted 2,294,629 trees in 29 locations. The most trees planted simultaneously at a single location is currently 100,450 trees in Whiteman Park, Perth, Australia where 1,978 participants took part

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Kirstin McEwan
Current Wildlife Conservation Masters student and former Environmental Stewardship graduate with interests in wildlife conservation and science communication

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