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Lucknow, India – More than a million Indians have planted 220 million trees in a single day in a government campaign to tackle climate change and improve the environment in the country’s most populated state.

Forest official Bivhas Ranjan says students, lawmakers, officials and others planted dozens of species of saplings Friday along roads, rail tracks and in forest lands in northern Uttar Pradesh state. The target of 220 million saplings was achieved by 5 p.m.

Ranjan says the trees will increase forest cover in the state, which has a population of more than 200 million.

India has pledged to keep one-third of its land area under tree cover, but its 1.3 billion people and rapid industrialization are hampering its efforts.

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