Reforestation of the Philippines, acting now
As the new academic year gets underway, Into life shines a spotlight on an original initiative proposed by the House of Representatives of the Philippines: every student from reception class through to higher education should plant one tree per year, as a rite of passage to graduation. Having lost 75% of its forests in a century, the archipelago is placing reforestation on the national agenda and making it a key focus.
Legislate to reforest
This is not the first time that the Philippines has legislated on this issue. In 2012, the Arbor Day Act stipulated that “all Filipinos in full possession of their faculties, aged twelve and over, should plant one tree every year.” However, the results of this initiative were never properly assessed. The new law will supersede the Arbor Day Act. This time, the authorities appear determined to see their goal through by making the planting of trees by students part of the national educational curriculum. CNN Philippines reports that government organizations will be charged with creating nurseries, growing plants and identifying and preparing the sites to which the plants will be transported (mangroves, protected areas, old estates, civil or military reserves, towns and cities, etc.). Indigenous species will be favored.