Reccemag: A new Filipino law would require all graduating high school and college students to plant at least 10 trees each before they can graduate.
The law, which has been passed by the country’s lower parliamentary house, formalizes a tradition of planting trees upon graduation, which is also hoped to simultaneously combat global climate change.
According to lawmakers, the impact will be significant, with the act resulting in an estimated 525 million trees planted over the course of a single generation.
“The trees planted by the graduating students shall be their living legacy to the environment and future generations of Filipinos,” a press release from the Filipino House stated earlier in June 2019.
The species of trees will be chosen based on the location, climate, and topography of the area, with a preference for indigenous species.
They will be planted in “forestlands, mangrove, and protected areas, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, urban areas under the greening plan of the local government units, inactive and abandoned mine sites, and other suitable lands,” the press release states.
In addition to the immediate carbon-absorbing impact of the trees, it is hoped the legislation will help bring environmental understanding to future generations and lead to further ecological initiatives.
The Philippines is one of the world’s most severely deforested countries with total forest cover dropping from 70 percent to just 20 percent during the 20thcentury. Illegal logging remains a problem for the country and the lack of trees in some areas has exacerbated the risk and the impacts of floods and landslides.