Hikmet Kaya has demonstrated that good intentions and hard work can pay off handsomely. The retired Turkish forest management chief proudly poses in front of the barren land he and his team transformed into a lush forest. He began his career in Sinop in 1978, and while he retired 19 years later, his legacy has grown—literally.
Over the course of his tenure, he brought in and planted 30,000,000 saplings with the help of his team and villagers. These trees continued to grow long after he retired, and today, this barren stepped land has undergone an incredible transformation. Kaya never stopped working during the 19 years of afforestation efforts. And, 41 years after starting this ambitious afforestation project, he returned to the now-lush land with a photograph of the once-barren environment, demonstrating the dramatic difference in the landscape. Needless to say, he is overjoyed with the results.
It’s a fantastic example for the rest of the country to follow. According to Global Forest Watch, Turkey’s tree cover has decreased by 5.4% since 2000. Because deforestation was the primary cause of much of this decline, contributing to its reversal is critical.
Combating deforestation frequently boils down to governmental policy changes, so it is critical for individuals to understand who they are voting for and to ensure that their environmental concerns are heard. Nonetheless, individuals are taking matters into their own hands and taking action. Individuals from India to Ghana to China are taking up the cause and planting trees to make a difference.
Retired forest chief Hikmet Kaya has planted 30,000,000 saplings over the course of his tenure.
Together with his team and villagers, they’ve helped create a forest on once-barren land.