Mangrove reforestation Philippines. Image: Jacob_09 Shutterstock
The legislation formalizes the existing tradition and could result in 175 million new trees each year if it is followed.
A new Philippine law requires all graduating high school and college students to plant at least 10 trees each before they can graduate.
The law formalizes the tradition of planting trees after graduation, which is also expected to simultaneously combat climate change.
The law’s authors say the legislation could translate into 525 billion trees in one generation, if the law is respected.
Reforestation in the Philippines. Image: Slim_photography Shutterstock
The representative of the Philippines Magdalo Party, Gary Alejano, was the main person in charge of the legislation, stated: “ With more than 12 million students graduating from elementary school and almost five million students graduating from high school nearly 500,000 who graduate from college each year, this initiative, if properly implemented, will ensure that at least 175 million new trees are planted each year, “he added.
” In one generation, 525,000 million new trees can be planted under this initiative, ” said Mr. Alejano in the explanatory note of the bill.
” Even with a survival rate of only 10%, this would mean that an additional 525 million trees would be available for young people to enjoy when they take leadership in the future .”
The trees will be planted in mangroves, existing forests, some protected areas, military areas, abandoned mining operations and selected urban areas, according to the CNN Philippines news service.
The government said that the species selected for these plantations must be appropriate for each place, climate and topography of the area and that there will also be a preference for indigenous species.
Image: Kizel Cotiw-an Shutterstock
In addition to the immediate impact of carbon sequestration from trees, the legislation is expected to help raise awareness of the importance of the environment for future generations and lead to new green initiatives.
The country’s Department of Education and the Higher Education Commission will jointly implement the bill and ensure its compliance.
The Philippines is one of the most deforested countries in the world, with total forest cover that has fallen from 70% to just 20% during the 20th century. Illegal logging continues to be a problem for the country and the lack of trees in some areas has exacerbated the risk and effects of floods and landslides.
More information: www.independent.co.uk