An extraordinary Filipino tradition officially became legislation this month after legislators passed the Graduation Legacy to the Environment Act. The newly voted legislation will require every graduating student in elementary school, high school, and college to plant ten trees before getting their diploma.
Officials anticipate the law could result in”at least 175 million new trees” planted annually, according to CNN Philippines. Besides beautifying the natural landscape, the initiative could be a small step in renewing and enriching the Earth’s atmosphere.
While the legislation has yet to go into effect, the government released some logistical information. First, preference will go to trees native to a particular place, climate, and topography.
Further, planting will concentrate on”forest lands, mangrove, and protected regions, ancestral domain names, civil and military reservations, metropolitan areas beneath the greening plan of the local government units, inactive and abandoned mine sites, along with other suitable lands.”
“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,” Rep. Gary Alejano, the bill’s co-author, said in an intreview for CNN. “In the course of one generation, no less than 525 billion can be planted under this initiative.”
Philippines Department of Education and the Commission on Higher Education will work with a range of environmental, agricultural, and other regulating bodies to execute the strategy.
By passing the legislation, the Philippines surely takes a very public measure to approach a growing climate crisis. Recently, environmental scientists in Zurich estimated that 1.2 trillion newly planted trees could absorb more carbon than we can put out, in an effort to start healing Earth’s atmosphere. Interestingly enough, the paper identified adequate space available for all those trees from the Earth’s existing woods, parks, and unused land.
Australia also laid out a plan to plant 1 billion trees by 2050.