A New Filipino Law Will Require Students To Plant Ten Trees Before They Graduate

A new Filipino law will require all students to plant at least ten trees each as a prerequisite for graduation, aiming to open the way for the planting of billions of trees in the Southeast Asian island nation.

According to the Mind Unleashed, the “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act” will require graduating students at the elementary, high school, and college to take part in the tradition of planting trees upon graduation while also combating global climate change.

Supporters of the bill, that was primarily authored by Magdalo Party representative Gary Alejano hope that the new legislation could see 525 billion trees planted in a generation, as The Independent reported.
The law also makes sure that the trees will be planted in mangroves, inactive or abandoned mines, forest lands and protected areas, civil and military lands, ancestral domains belonging to the country’s indigenous peoples, and urban areas slated for greening under government planners, as local ABS-CBN News reported.

The government also plans to ensure that the species selected for planting are appropriate to the location, climate, and topography of the area, with a preference for the planting of tree species which are indigenous to the bio-diverse regions of the Philippines.

To ensure that the students do conform with the law, the Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education will work to implement the bill in schools.

Despite its lush, tropical landscape, the Philippines is one of the world’s foremost countries in terms of illegal mining operations, severe deforestation, and poor land-use policies favoring big agri-business and foreign mineral extraction corporations.

Total forest cover has dropped from 70% of the country to a mere 20% during the 20th century, and illegal logging has denuded entire areas of the archipelago, rendering local communities vulnerable to the risks of floods and landslides.

Along with the carbon absorption that the new law will hopefully entail, legislators hope that future generations will benefit from a deeper understanding of their interaction with nature and the undertaking of new ecological initiatives.

The law will see the Philippines become a much greener place, hopefully. One can only dream about what the planet would look like if more countries followed this example set by this policy, that seeks to transform an increasingly hotter and more polluted world into one that might be more livable for our future generations.

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