Our World’s Rainforests
Our world’s rainforests have been in crisis. These forests cover about 30 percent of our planet, and deforestation has increased the level of greenhouse gasses in the atmosphere. The Amazon rainforest alone makes up for 20 percent of the oxygen that we breathe. The rainforests are incredibly important to the future of our planet, and people are treating them irresponsibly.
Help In San Francisco
There are many people who understand the importance of our rainforests, and who worry about the future of them. There is a group in San Francisco who is working to bring the dangers of deforestation to people’s attention. The group worked with models for a fashion show which brought attention to clothing brands that contribute to the rainforests. While what they are doing is excellent, we need to do more. What is happening in the Philippines today is dangerous and tragic.
The Philippines is a nation in the Pacific Ocean and is made up of over 7,600 islands. Of all the countries most vulnerable to climate change, it was ranked one of the top. Because of this, people have been searching for ways to combat it, making it a safe place to live.
Philippines In the Past
There was a time that the Philippines was covered in lush forests. Over 70 percent of the island nation was covered in forests. Sadly, by 1999, there was only a quarter of the forest area left. Logging took down most of the forest, which has left the Philippines in serious trouble.
The logging that has taken place in the Philippines is illegal, and it has contributed to much of the loss of forests. The loss of these forests have resulted in shortages of food and dangerous landslides. If the Philippines is going to one day thrive again, something needs to happen.
A man named Gary Alejano understands the threat that the Philippines is under, and he has come up with an interesting plan to hep. In 2013, he was voted a representative in the Philippine congress. He knew that something had to be done to protect the precious forests, so he figured that the best way to help was to be a legislator. He believed that being in power would be the best way or him to make a change. After being elected, he authored a bill.
Old Fashioned Methods
Gary’s first ideas were to use old fashioned methods to solve the problem. He figured that if people used less paper and purchased organic food from smaller companies, that it would help the forests and the environment. Also, limiting the amount of red meat that people consumed was also an idea. Unfortunately, not everyone was on board, and these ideas were doomed to fail. He realized that he would need to be more innovate if he was going to make a change.
Getting the Youth Involved
Gary realized that since it is the younger generation that relied on the government to make changes, that he would try to get them involved in making changes. If he got the youth involved, it could help solve immediate problems and have a long-term impact. This was when he came up with the “Graduation Legacy for the Environment Act.” Gary’s new law requires students to make the strangest move before graduating.
Rules Before Graduating
Under Gary’s new law, any student about to graduate from primary school, high school, or college, would be required to plant ten trees. That would equal to 30 trees per student by the time they graduate from college. According to Gary, if the new law is implemented correctly, there would be 175 million new trees planted every year. The impact that this could have on the Philippines would be astronomical.
In just one generation, there would be 525 billion new trees in the Philippines.
The Bill Needs To Pass
Now that Gary has the idea and has introduced the bill, he is just waiting for it to pass in the Philippine House of Representatives. Not only did the bill pass, but it specified the acceptable locations for the new trees, such as forests, military reservations, and urban areas. Gary’s bill is a very innovative and amazing step to save the Philippines for future generations. In a short amount of time, the country can have the lush green forests that it once did before the illegal logging took place. If the people of the Philippines teach their children how important the forests are to the life and survival of the country, the children who will one day be the future lawmakers will make sure that laws like Gary’s will remian in place.