Meet the amazing man who saved an entire island and made the animals come back to him
In a world that does not always feel as safe and loving as it should be, it is always fun to hear about people who dedicate their lives to making it so.
Jadab Payeng, from the island of Majuli, India, is such a person.
In the past Majuli was a magical place full of green forests. But very quickly the island was destroyed because of humans who tried to profit from its natural resources and they actually destroyed the vegetation and wildlife that were in the place.
But 41 years ago, Jadab decided to make a change. In 1979, he planted the first tree in an abandoned part of Majuli - and he continued to do so on a regular basis.
Today, the wilderness that was once the island has become a flowering forest, almost double the size of Central Park. The empty landscape has now become a tropical paradise inhabited by 115 elephants, rhinos, moose, tigers and more.
Most of Majuli Island was made up of sand dunes that were swept away and disappeared. But thanks to Jadab's efforts, that is no longer the case.
According to Jadab, it was a dream to recreate the natural beauty that was once part of Majuli - but the force that motivated him was his desire to bring about the return of plants and animals.
Thanks to Jadab, a 5500-acre forest is now home to many wildlife, including elephants, moose and tigers.
The film "The Forest Man" which followed Jadab's life project won the Best Documentary Award at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival.
Meet the Man Who Planted a ForestThis man began planting a forest in 1979—and now it's the size of Central Park. http://on.natgeo.com/1Woq730
Posted by National Geographic on Tuesday, May 10, 2016
Watch "The Forest Man" documentary below: