Climate change is having a real effect on the planet. As a result, nations and companies across the globe are making more of an effort to counteract the devastating effects that are happening to our planet. As inhabitants of this planet, we all have a responsibility to be more sustainable and live in harmony with our world.
As the quote goes by author Nelson Henderson, “The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit.”
One country that is making strides in helping the planet move forward in a positive direction is the Philippines. According to The Independent, they have introduced a new law, which requires all high school and college students to plant at least 10 trees before graduation or else they won’t graduate.
In an effort to raise awareness for global warming and combat the effects of climate change, this new law will see that the planting of trees becomes a formal tradition upon graduation.
If the law is followed, this would mean that as many as 525 billion trees are planted by an entire generation of graduates. The country’s Department of Education as well as the Commission on Higher Education are working together to carry out the new law and ensure that it is complied with at all times.
A representative for the Philippines Magdalo Party, Gary Alejano, explained the bill with the following note:
“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. 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.”
According to a report by CNN’s Philippines news service, the trees are expected to be planted in military ranges, abandoned mining sites, some protected areas, forests already in existence, and urban areas.
The drastic change comes as a result of the Philippines being one of the most deforested countries in the world – having gone down from 70% forest coverage to only 20% in the 20th century according to a report by The Independent.
One of the biggest challenges facing the country is illegal logging, which not only destroys natural habitats for many species, but also increases the risk and impact of both landslides and floods.
In terms of the new law, the government has stated that the species of trees selected for planting should be appropriate to each location, climate, and topography of the area – meaning that they’ll be looking to increase the number of indigenous species within each selected location.
Besides the instant carbon-absorbing effect the planted trees will provide, the government is hopeful that the new legislation will help bring a new and improved understanding of the environment and its importance to the future generations.
Well done, Philippines!