India and China are leading the global greening effort, which is quite contrary to the general perception worldwide, a latest NASA study said on Monday, observing that the world is a greener place than it was 20 years ago.
The NASA study based on data received and analysed from its satellite said that India and China are leading in greening on land.
"China and India account for one-third of the greening but contain only 9 per cent of the planet's land area covered in vegetation," said lead author Chi Chen of Boston University.
"That is a surprising finding, considering the general notion of land degradation in populous countries from over exploitation," he said.
The study published on February 11, in the journal Nature Sustainability said that recent satellite data (2000 2017) reveal a greening pattern that is strikingly prominent in China and India and overlaps with croplands world-wide.
China alone accounts for 25 per cent of the global net increase in leaf area with only 6.6 per cent of global vegetated area.
The greening in China is from forests (42 per cent) and croplands (32 per cent), but in India it is mostly from croplands (82 percent) with minor contribution from forests (4.4 per cent), the NASA study said.
China is engineering ambitious programmes to conserve and expand forests with the goal of mitigating land degradation, air pollution and climate change.
(with news agency inputs)