In 1979, a teenager became so concerned with soil erosion that he planted a few trees. Over the next four decades, Jadav Payeng continued to plant and now he has single-handedly created a forest bigger than New York’s Central Park. His endeavours on Majuli island in northern India went entirely unnoticed for decades.
Jadav lives on Majuli, in the state of Assam, which is the world’s largest river island. It is very susceptible to soil erosion and experts claim that within 20 years it could completely wash away.
After one terrible year of extreme flooding in 1979, Jadav decided he would plant a sapling in the barren soil to help his homeland. It was an act he pledged to repeat every day for the foreseeable future and in the last 39 years, his woodland has grown to 550 hectares.
By comparison, New York’s Central Park is 341 hectares.