A new law in the Philippines requires all students to plant at least 10 trees each as a prerequisite before graduation, paving the way for potential planting of billions of trees in this Southeast Asian island nation.
The “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act” will require all graduating students at the elementary, high school, and college levels to take part in the tradition of planting trees upon graduation while also fighting global climate change.
Supporters of the bill, which was authored by Magdalo Party representative Gary Alejano, hope that this new legislation could see as many as 525 billion trees planted in one generation, according to The Independent.
In the explanation note, 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.”Gary Alejano
The law would also make sure that the trees will be planted in mangroves, forest lands and protected areas, inactive or abandoned mines, ancestral domains belonging to the country’s indigenous peoples, civil and military lands, and urban areas slated for greening under government planners, according to local ABS-CBN News.
Despite its rich, tropical landscape, the Philippines is also one of the world’s top countries in terms of severe deforestation, illegal mining operations, and poor land-use policies favoring big agri-business and foreign mineral extraction corporations.
Hopefully, the law will see the Philippines become a much greener place. One can only dream about what the world would look like if more countries followed the example set by this policy, which seeks to transform an increasingly hotter and more polluted world into one that may be more livable for our future generations.
The Mind Unleashed contributed to this article