Greening the bare hills of West Bengal

Hills that were denuded by logging have come back to life in the past 20 years in the Indian state of West Bengal, driven by villagers who have recognized the power of trees to mitigate climate change. The once bare and stony hills are now covered with native trees that provide fruit, mitigate heat waves and contribute to water retention and cleaner air. 

Today’s restored forests on the hills near Jharbagda hold nearly half a million trees, and the neighboring 125 villages have been covered with an additional seven million trees. At 91, Jamini Mohan Mahanty thinks it has added extra years to his life.

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