More than 1.5 million volunteers turned out on Sunday between 7am and 7pm to plant the massive number of tree saplings along the Narmada River in the state of Madhya Pradesh.
Each year around the same time, India attempts to beat its own record for the most amount of trees planted in a limited time frame. Their previous world record was 49.3 million saplings in 24 hours planted in Uttar Pradesh, Northern India.
State Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan announced the new record on Twitter and described the efforts as a "historic day".
— ShivrajSingh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) July 2, 2017
"The world talks of global warming and climate change, but Madhya Pradesh has taken a concrete step to deal with it. By planting trees we are not only serving Madhya Pradesh but the world at large," he said.
Observers from Guinness World Records monitored the mass plantation, and are expected to confirm the new record within the coming weeks. Elsewhere in the country, volunteers in the state of Kerala planted more than 10 million in 24 hours in June this year and Maharashtra is set to plant 40 million later this year as part of the nationwide reforestation campaign.
Under the Paris Agreement, India has pledged to increase its forests by 95 million hectares by 2030, costing around $6.2 billion.
Deforestation in India is a growing issue with its increasing population of 1 billion people in need of more agricultural land and housing. India is also one of the world’s biggest producers of carbon emissions. Delhi and the surrounding suburbs currently hold the record for the worst air quality in the world. India has also come under fire for coal-burning and burning of biomass fuel.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi last month reaffirmed his country’s commitment to the Paris climate accord after the US withdrew from the deal.
“The protection of the environment and the mother planet is an article of faith,” he said at a joint press conference with French President Emmanuel Macron.