This Man Has Planted A Forest Bigger Than Central Park To Save His Island
Jadav Payeng started planting trees in 1979 in order to save an Indian island threatened by erosion. As you can imagine it is an extremely time consuming endeavour, but once initial trees had been established he was able to use them as a source of seeds, making his mission slightly easier. This footage was captured by photographer Jitu Kalita who accompanied Jadav to his home, the largest river island in the world, where the forest has grown to around 550 hectares – Central Park in New York is only 341 hectares. The forest has become so dense there are now 115 elephants which live there for 3 months of the year, as well as ‘rhinos, deer, and many tiger.’ Jadav says he will not stop planting trees until his last breath, and we believe him.
The film is called “Forest Man” and was directed by William Douglas McMaster, winning Best Documentary for the American Pavilion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at the Cannes Film Festival in 2014. It was funded in part by Kickstarter.
Watch the extended version: