A new law has been introduced in the Philippines which requires all elementary school, high school, and college students to plant at least 10 trees before they can graduate.
If implemented successfully, at least 175 million new trees would be planted each year.
In order to graduate, students in Philippines will now be required to do more than just maintain a passing grade.
A new law will make it mandatory for graduating from elementary school, high school, and college students to plant at least 10 trees before graduation.
The legislation called the “Graduation Legacy for the Environmental Act,” was passed on May 15.
The House of Representatives passed the new environmental bill, which could see as many as 525 billion trees planted over the course of one generation
It aims to tackle deforestation while helping younger generations become more environmentally conscious.
“With over 12 million students graduating from elementary and nearly 5 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,” Representative Gary Alejano, the bill’s main author, said in its explanatory note.
The Department of Education and the Commission of Higher Education are responsible for implementing and ensuring compliance with the new law.
The new legislation is part of the broader effort by the Philippines government to tackle the effects of climate change by adopting measures for reforestation.
The Philippines is facing deforestation on a more severe level than most countries in the world. The total forest cover in the country dropped from 70% to 20% during the 20th century, mainly due to an increase in illegal logging — the production and transport of timber in unauthorized areas.
Soil erosion resulting from deforestation and monocropping — the repeated farming of a single crop on the same land year after year — has also led to food and water insecurity throughout the country.
With reduced forest cover and frequent typhoons, landslides have become a common occurrence.