Ecuador broke a world record for reforestation Saturday, as thousands of people pitched in to plant 647,250 trees of more than 200 species, President Rafael Correa said.
“I have just been informed that we have broken the Guinness record for reforestation,” the president said in his weekly address.
Correa said the seedlings were planted all over Ecuador, which boasts varied geography from its Pacific coast, high Andean peaks and low Amazon basin areas.
Environment Minister Lorena Tapia said on Twitter that 44,883 people planted the trees on more than 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of land.
Children plant a tree on Catequilla Hill in an area called “La Mitad del Mundo,” where the equator is located, north of Quito, Ecuador, Saturday, May 16, 2015.
Guinness Records adjudicator Carlos Martinez, said hundreds of varieties were planted as part of the mass reforestation effort.
“There is no record in history of similar events involving over 150 species,” he told AFP.
Some of the volunteers, who planted trees in more than 150 spots across Ecuador, said while they were proud of the record, they wouldn’t mind seeing it broken again.
“I wish everyone would beat this record,” said government employee Ricardo Quiroga, who volunteered as a tree planter in Catequilla.
“I want to beat it once a month so the planet will be full of trees in very little time, which is what we need.”
Yasuni National Park, Amazon, Ecuador.
The Philippines holds the record for the most trees planted in an hour, with 3.2 million seedlings sown last September as part of a national forestation program.
Scientists believe planting trees helps offset carbon buildup in the atmosphere, as they absorb carbon dioxide and emit oxygen, helping to reduce global warming.
Ecuador holds several other world records, including the most plastic bottles recycled in one week and the most people buried in sand simultaneously, according to Guinness.