In just 24 hours, India's most populous state took a major step toward combating climate change.
On Monday, over 800,000 people gathered in Uttar Pradesh, India to break a single world record.
A huge community came together to plant 50 million trees in 24 hours.
Considering it would only take 847,276 trees to beat the 2013 Guinness World Record set in Pakistan, these guys didn't just break that record, they shattered it — nearly 60 times over.
At 10 am, government representatives officially began the "CLEAN UP GREEN UP" initiative, distributing saplings to volunteers of all ages and backgrounds. From legislators to toddlers, hundreds of thousands of people planted trees alongside empty dirt roads, packed highways, and secluded forests alike.
Besides setting a new world record, the tree-planting marathon promoted afforestation and environmental conservation.
"The world has realized that serious efforts are needed to reduce carbon emissions to mitigate the effects of global climate change," Akhilesh Yadav, the chief minister of India's most populous state, stated at the event, according to the Associated Press. "Uttar Pradesh has made a beginning in this regard."
And there’s no end in sight.
After last year's climate change summit in Paris, India's government set aside $6.2 billion for these initiatives.
Now, after the success of Uttar Pradesh, they've encouraged all 29 states to hold their own tree-planting drives. They hope to increase the country's forest cover from approximately 173 million acres to 235 million by 2030, in line with their summit pledge.
To ensure the saplings' long-term survival, senior forest official Sanjeev Saran told the publication that officials would monitor the planting sites through aerial photographs.
Also monitoring the saplings were auditors from Guinness World Records. On Monday, they travelled around the state incognito checking on tree numbers. "We are trying to maintain full transparency," Saran said. "They are out in the field and are supervising the plantation drive."
According to officials, only 60 percent of saplings typically survive, with the rest perishing from disease or dehydration.