The Philippines, a tropical island nation in the Pacific, will now require by law all graduating students from elementary school to college plant 10 trees each before they can graduate. The Southeast Asian country located in the Pacific Ocean is currently making environmentally-focused waves by requiring that it’s graduating students plant trees. And other countries might want to take note.
The Philippines recently initiated a new law that requires all of their graduating students to plant trees in order to be eligible to graduate. Each student must plant 10 trees each. The country’s House approved the “Graduation Legacy For the Environment Act” sent to the Senate for initiation.
While an easy way to get 175 trees planted in a year is to assign the task to young people’s school requirements, there’s more to this new bill than making a big job a little easier. Filipino proponents of this new law not only hope that this requirement will be an opportunity for their country’s youth to help conquer the issue of climate change, but they also hope to encourage their youth to build up a greener environment for themselves and the generations to come. According to the bill, “To this end, the educational system shall be a locus for propagating ethical and sustainable use of natural resources among the young to ensure the cultivation of a socially-responsible and conscious citizenry.”
It’s estimated that over the course of a single Filipino generation, the bill alone will be responsible for 525 billion new trees planted. That number is calculated from the average of 12 million students graduating from elementary school, 5 million from high school, and 500,000 from college every year, totally 175 new trees annually.
The law states that trees should be located in:
- Mangroves and protected areas
- Ancestral domains
- Civil and military reservations
- Urban areas
- Inactive and abandoned mine sites
- other suitable lands
The focus will be on planting indigenous species that match the area’s climate and topography. A number of internal agencies within the Philippines government will assist in establishing nurseries, seedling production, site identification, monitoring and evaluating and technical help.