In the global combat against climate change, a new Filipino law has required all graduating high schools and colleges students to plant at least 10 tress each.
If this is properly adhered to, Philippine is expected to have 525 billion trees planted in a generation, agains the history of deforestation battling with the country.
The principal author of the legislation, Philipines’ Magdalo Party representative Gary Alejano said;
“With over 12 million students graduating from elementary and nearly five million students graduating from high schools and almost 500,000 graduating from colleges 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.” He said
The trees are expected to be planted in; mangroves, existing forests, some protected areas, military ranges, abandoned mining sites and selected urban areas, according to CNN’s Philippines news service.
The government said the species selected for planting must be appropriate to each location, climate and topography of the area and there will also be a preference for indigenous species.
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 country’s Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education will together implement and ensure compliance with the bill.
The Philippines is one of the world’s most severely deforested countries with total forest cover dropping from 70 per cent to just 20 per cent during the 20th century. 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.