Scroll down to watch the video
Part conservation effort, part labor of love, Jadav Payeng has single-handedly reforested a small inland island in India by planting a tree a day for more than 30 years.
The biggest river island in the world
It was the dead snakes that tipped him off that something had to be done.
The island is not small. It’s actually the biggest river island in the world. That still doesn’t really explain why it took people several decades to realize that anything weird was even happening on it.
You know, like planting an entire forest larger than Central Park in Manhattan.
The giant sandbar of an island is called Majuli, sitting in India’s unpredictable Brahmaputra River, and in 1979 it was in trouble.
Years of erosion had taken its toll, leaving Majuli dry and lifeless…well, except for the 150,000 people who still lived there.
Over half the island has disappeared to erosion
All of whom seemed to have more important things to do than worry about the rise of a huge forest. Well, all except for the one man who was planting it.
Maybe everyone else was worried about where their island was going.
Over the last century, over half the island has disappeared to erosion. Every year, the cycle of monsoons and floods had gradually stripped the land away, taking with it the life that once lived on it, both plants and animals.