The Green Scoop

Tree Planting As a Graduation Requirement in the Philippines

Tree Planting As a Graduation Requirement in the Philippines

If we teach the younger generation to plant trees, they will learn as early as now that they have a social responsibility to take care of the environment. Knowing that we should take care of the planet should be a normal thing to do, yet some of us don’t really do anything about it.

We’re burdened by the fact that we’re experiencing global warming, calamities worsened because of pollution, and everything else that comes with the destruction of our environment. Yet, some of us still don’t know how we can put our thoughts into concrete actions.

In the Philippines, a new law has been passed that might help fix the deforestation and at the same time teach the younger generation about being the stewards of our environment. It is now a final requirement to at least plant 10 trees before they can graduate. This took effect on May 15, 2019 and will apply to those who will graduate from elementary, high school, college and university.

This “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act” that was introduced by Congressman Gary Alejano said that it is a very good opportunity for the young generation to finally take action against the vast effects of climate change.

"While we recognize the right of the youth to a balanced and healthy ecology... there is no reason why they cannot be made to contribute in order to ensure that this will be an actual reality." Said Gary Alejano.

There are about 12 million kids graduating from elementary school, 5 million from high school, and about 500 thousand from universities every year. This could equal to 175 million trees that will be planted yearly. Congressman Alejano said that even though only 10% of the trees will survive, there will still be a whopping 525 million of trees planted in a generation.

"Through the 20th century, forested area in the Philippines decreased from 70 percent to 20 percent. It is estimated that 24.2 million acres of forests were cut down from 1934 to 1988, primarily from logging... The implementation of this new law could trigger a fulcrum whereby the Philippines switches from net loss to net gain of trees." Forbes reported.

The law clearly states that these trees can be planted in forests, ancestral domains, civil and military reservations, mangroves, and urban areas and even inactive and abandoned mine sites.

“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.” As reported by Forbes.

Efforts like this made by the government are really crucial in helping preserve the environment. Something as little as 10 trees per graduating student can equal to millions and millions of trees annually. Which goes to show that efforts, no matter how big or small are very important in order to create a ripple effect.

If you dream of having trees around you that keep our surroundings lush and our air cleaner than ever, put those tree planting skills in use. Whether you live in the Philippines or not, or if you’re graduating or has already graduated, plant more trees to save the Earth.