Why Massive Tree Plantation Drives Are a Disaster for Desert Ecosystems

Chetan Misher & Abi T Vanak

Scroll | June 17, 2022

On World Environment Day on June 5, a record 1.5 lakh saplings were planted in Chushul, a remote village in Ladakh, ostensibly to preserve and protect this high-altitude ecosystem. A similar plantation drive was undertaken in 2018 when 4,000 saplings were planted in the Leh region of Ladakh. Such major plantation drives are often hailed as a one-stop solution to the country’s land degradation and environmental problems. However well-intended, they have not led to desired outcomes in many cases as they lack a scientifically-sound approach and misidentify the real problem.