A law has recently been passed in the Philippines that sees high school and college students being required to plan at least 10 trees before they’re allowed to graduate.
An old tradition of the Philippines, planting trees before graduation has been formalized by the government in the hopes that it not only keeps the tradition alive, but aids in the combat against global climate change.
The new law could see 525 billion trees planted in one generation if students adhere to it.
The principal author of the new legislation, the Magdalo Party’s representative Gary Alejano, said:
With over 12 million students graduating from elementary and nearly five million students graduating from high school and almost 500,000 graduating from college each year, this initiative, if properly implemented, will ensure that at least 175 million new trees would be planted each year.
In the course of one generation, no less than 525 billion can be planted under this initiative.
Even with a survival rate of only 10 per cent, this would mean an additional 525 million trees would be available for the youth to enjoy, when they assume the mantle of leadership in the future.
The trees will be planted in various mangroves and existing forests, protected areas, abandoned mining sites, military ranges and selected urban areas according to CNN Philippines.
The one mandatory requirement will be that the trees will have to be species appropriate to the location, climate and topography of the selected area with indigenous species having preference.
Various government agencies such as the department of education and department of environment and natural resources will take responsibility for the site’s preparation, seedling preparation, the monitoring and evaluation and technical support, including other services.
Aside from absorbing carbon dioxide and combating deforestation, the government hopes that the initiative may aid future generations in understanding the importance of environmental and ecological issues.
The Philippines boasts being the most heavily deforested countries in the 20th century, with the country’s forest cover being reduced from 70-20% during this period alone. Struggling with illegal logging and a lack of trees increasing the risk of floods and landslides according to the Independent‘s findings.
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