The world’s green spaces may be in peril, but Filipino students are doing their part to help. In fact, they don’t really have a choice in the matter; a new law will require all students to plant at least 10 trees before they can graduate from high school and college.
Planting trees upon graduation is already a tradition in the Philippines, but, thanks to this new law, it will now be formally required. Billions of trees will be planted in a generation.
“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,” explained the Philippines’ Magdalo Party representative, Gary Alejano, the principal author of the legislation.
“In the course of one generation, no less than 525 billion can be planted under this initiative.”
The representative went on to explain that, even if only 10 percent of the trees actually survive to adulthood, that still adds up to 525 million new trees.
This is especially meaningful for the Philippines, which is one of the most severely deforested countries in the world.
The new trees will be planted in mangroves, existing forests, some protected areas, military ranges, abandoned mining sites, and selected urban areas. The trees must be well-suited to their planting location, and there will be a preference for native species.
The government hopes that this initiative will not only improve the ecology of the country, but will also encourage young people to care more about the environment.
I, for one, would love to see a similar law on the book in every country around the world!