Jadav Payeng grew up living near the Majuli River in north east India, near Myanmar. At the time it was a verdant oasis, populated with a dense forests, but as people cut down more and more trees much of the plants and animals that lived there disappeared.
37 years ago Jadav decided to do something about it. He planted his first tree in the deserted land of the Majuli, something that he has continued doing since. Now that wasteland has been transformed into a lush forest, twice the size of New York's Central Park, that's more than the size of 600 football pitches!
That landscape now looks like a tropical paradise, and with the return of the vegetation, animals have also returned. Elephants, tigers, rhinos, and deer now all call it home.
Much of Majuli island was barren sand, exposed to erosion, but thanks to Payeng's plantation, it had become a verdant forest. Payeng says it is a dream come true to see Majuli recover its natural look again.
Thanks to this one man the whole island is now a luscious paradise teaming with wild animals of every kind.
The documentary Forest Man won best documentary at the Cannes Film Festival, and tells Jaday's story:
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