Turkish Man Plants 30 Million Saplings and Creates Forest on Once-Barren Land

Hikmet Kaya Posing In Front of Forest in Turkey

Hikmet Kaya has proved that good intentions and hard work can yield big rewards. The retired Turkish forest management chief has posed proudly in front of the barren land that he and his team have transformed into a lush forest. He began his career in the town of Sinop in 1978 and while he retired 19 years later, his legacy has continued to grow—literally.

Working together with his team and villagers, he brought in and planted 30,000,000 saplings over the course of his tenure. Long after his retirement, these trees have continued to grow; and today, this barren stepped land has undergone an incredible transformation. During the 19 years of afforestation efforts, Kaya never stopped working. And 41 years after he first began this ambitious afforestation project, he returned to the now-lush land with a picture of the once-barren environment, highlighting what a huge difference there is in the landscape. Needless to say, he admits he's very happy with the results.

It's a wonderful example to set for the rest of the country. According to Global Forest Watch, Turkey has seen a 5.4% decrease in tree cover since 2000. Deforestation was the overriding cause of much of this decrease, so contributing to its reversal is critical.

Combatting deforestation often comes down to governmental policy changes, which makes it important for individuals to know who they are voting for and to make sure their environmental concerns are heard. Still, that hasn't stopped individuals from taking matters into their own hands and taking action. From India to Ghana to China, individuals 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.

Hikmet Kaya Planting Trees in Turkey

Photo: Tohumtoprak

Together with his team and villagers, they've helped create a forest on once-barren land.

Hikmet Kaya Planting Trees in Turkey

Photo: Tohumtoprak

h/t: [tohumtoprak]

Related Articles:

Philippines Passes Law Requiring Students to Plant 10 Trees Before Graduating

Pakistan Combats Massive Unemployment By Hiring People to Plant 10 Billion Trees

Ethiopia May Have Set a World Record By Planting 350 Million Trees in Just 12 Hours

Man Spends 40 Years Planting a Tree on Barren Island Every Day, Now It’s a Giant Forest

Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Contributing Writer and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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