For anyone who says that one person can’t make a difference, The Forest Man of India is here to prove you wrong.

Jadav Payeng started planting trees in 1979 in Indias Majuli island area in an effort to conserve the area, and bring back animals who had fled the region, including elephants, rhinos, deer and tigers. His goal was also to prevent erosion in the area and provide economic benefits to the region surround his home.

Of his effort, Jadav says:

I have planted everything myself. At first, planting was very time consuming, but now it’s much easier because I get the seeds from the trees themselves.

 

Coconut trees are always straight, and they help prevent erosion if planted densely enough. So it is good for protecting the soil, for boosting the economy, and for fighting climate change.

It will take 5 years to get results in Majuli, and in other areas it will take 7 years.

Because of Jadav’s mission, a region that was formerly a dry wasteland is now lush and able to support life and an entire ecosystem. Hopefully Jadav sets an example for other regions around the world, and encourages others to take action to preserve threatened natural habitats.

You can watch the full ~16 minute documentary above.