August Issue 2009
A Worthy Record
First we had the world’s biggest tea bag, biggest key and lock, largest kurta, tallest cake, youngest civil judge, biggest flag, the largest shoe, and the fastest ball (bowled by Shoaib Akhtar) take us into the Guinness Book of World Records. Then the Pakistanis saw the Indians exit from the T20 World Cup. Now we have succeeded in dislodging India from the Guinness Book of World Records by planting 541,176 mangroves in a sun-up-to-sun-down activity at Keti Bunder in Thatta district. The previous record was set in India by the 21 JAT Regiment of the Indian Army, which had planted 447,874 trees in the Shrigram Reserve Forest in Dhubri, Assam, on June 12-13, 2009.
The Sindh Forest Department chose the species of mangroves, Rhizofora mucronata, which had to be planted within daylight hours, without artificial lighting, by a team of not more than 300 persons. A workforce belonging to the local community started at 7:00 a.m., with two independent witnesses, Ms Marvi Memon, member of the National Assembly and chairperson of the Senate standing committee on the environment, and Tahir Qureshi, coastal ecosystems expert of IUCN, also known as ‘Baba-e-Mangroves’ for his pioneering work in this field, keeping a watchful eye on the procedures followed.
The entire activity, and the process and procedures that followed, were scrutinised and verified by the adjudicator from Guinness World Records, Aadil Ahmed, who finally declared that he was satisfied that Pakistan had broken the record. He had also witnessed the record tree plantation done by Mexico in 2008, whose record the Indians had surpassed.
For the next three years, the local community will be involved in looking after the plants, with the help of the Sindh forest department, to ensure their sustainability.