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A New Law In Philippines Requires Students To Plant 10 Trees If They Want To Graduate

A New Law In Philippines Requires Students To Plant 10 Trees If They Want To Graduate

The country has seen rapid deforestation in recent decades.

A new proposed law in the Philippines could result in the growth of over 5 billion trees within a single generation. This law, when passed, will require schools and college students to plant 10 trees before they graduate reports The Independent. While the bill has not been passed yet, it sure is ambitious and much needed considering the country has fast depleted its forest cover over the years. The law was first proposed by Gary Alejano, a representative of The Philippines’ Magdalo Party and the principal author of the legislation The bill said, “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."



 

 

He added, “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 percent, 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.” So far the bill has been passed in the country's House Of Representatives or the lower house but is still pending in the Senate or the upper house. According to CNN the bill has been named "Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act" and was co-authored by Alejano with another representative named Strike Revilla. The trees should be planted in mangroves, forest lands, and other protected areas such as ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, the bill highlighted.

Source: Mayur Kakade/ Getty

It also includes urban areas under specific areas of local government units as well as mine sites that have been abandoned or not in use. The bill also emphasized that not just any species of trees can be planted anywhere. These have to be indigenous and specific to particular areas and suitable to the location, climate and topography of the area. Several government departments will have to work in partnership and collaboration with each other to ensure the success of this plan. These include the country's Department of Environmental and Natural Resources (DENR), Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education in tandem with the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform, and other bodies such as the National Commission on Indigenous Peoples. 



 

Starting from the nursery establishment, seedling production, to monitoring and evaluation, and extending together technical support and extension services. The agencies will have to function smoothly. Deforestation in the country is a huge problem with the forest cover having dropped from 70 percent to 20 percent in the past few decades. Illegal logging remains a big problem. "The Philippines is one of the most severely deforested countries in the tropics and most deforestation has happened in the last 40 years. Estimates place forest cover in the Philippines in the year 1900 at 21 million hectares, covering 70 percent of the total land area. By 1999, forests covered 5.5 million hectares; only 800,000 hectares of this was primary forest. As illegal logging continues, the remaining forest is endangered," according to essc.org

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