Recognizing that we won’t survive without trees, the Philippines comes up with a plan to plant 5 billion in one generation
In just 100 years the percentage of land covered by forest in the Philippines has dropped from 70% to 20% thanks to logging and mining.
In an effort to reverse such massive deforestation, the Filipino government will now require every student to plant 10 trees before they graduate elementary school, high school and college.
“With over 12 million students graduating from elementary, 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,” one of the bill’s author’s Gary Alejano wrote in the bill.
“In the course of one generation, no less than 525 billion can be planted under this initiative,” he added.
“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.”
The students can’t just plant any trees though. They have to be appropriate for the area they are planted, from rainforests to coastal mangroves to city streets, with an emphasis on native species.
The benefits of the effort are plenty. Trees increase oxygen while reducing carbon in the atmosphere. They make cleaner air by filtering out particulates, while increasing regular rainfall and reduce the risk of floods and landslides.