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Hundreds-of-Thousands of Trees will be Planted at Once, Shattering Record

May 12, 2015 04:41 AM EDT
Lorena Tapia, Ecuador's minister of environment, plants a tree during her May 6th announcement that her country will be planting 350,000 trees in one day.
(Photo : Office of Presidency (Ecuador))

Eat your heart out Johnny Appleseed. That's practically what Lorena Tapia, Ecuador's minister of environment, said on Wednesday when she announced that the country plans to plant 350,000 trees simultaneously.

According to Tapia during the Wednesday announcement (May 6), the stunt - which will involve more than 35,000 Ecuadorian volunteers - is part of the country's reaffirmation to battle deforestation - something that harshly affects Ecuador and its heavily wooded (although less so these days) neighbors.

It will also (probably) crush a past Guinness Record to boot!**

"What Ecuador seeks is the largest amount of people planting at the same time, in different places," Tapia explained.

"The record is not based on time; it is not based on seeds, but in the amount of people participating," Carlos Martinez, the director of Guinness Record for Latin America, reiterated to the ANDES, who broke the story. "The new thing we establish for Ecuador, to make it more inclusive and at a national level, is that we will allow this record to be done in multiple places at the same time."

It should be noted that Tapia and her countrymen are aiming for a Latin American record, not a world record.** The current world record for most trees planted simultaneously in multiple locations is held by the Philippines. According to the Guinness World Records archives, the environmental advocacy group TreeVolution organized a "Greening MindaNOW" initiative that saw 2,294,629 trees (fruit, rubber, cacao, coffee, mahogany, and standard timber) planted by 122,168 participants just last year.

That very impressive, but the most trees planted in an hour (100 people with 40,885 trees) and most trees planted simultaneously in one place (1,978 volunteers and 100,450 trees), are still up for grabs.

Tapia added that this is just the beginning for the country, which has already been working towards a "zero deforestation plan" that will have more trees sprouting each year than are cut down by 2017. That plan will require 50,000 acres of forest to be recovered in two-year's time. However, the minister says Ecuador is up to the task.

"Ecuador is sending a historic message," she said last week. "It is showing the world that Ecuador is committed to the protection of the environment. It is also an invitation for citizens to act positively towards protecting the environment."

**EDIT: this aritcle orignally states that Ecuador was aiming to set a new world record.**

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