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In exchange for marriage certificate Indonesians must donate trees

An Indonesian district in West Java, Garut, has started a unique program to support reforestation. As reported by Reuters, any couple planning to get married must give ten trees to local authorities for reforestation efforts before marriage will be legally sanctioned.

But it’s not just married couples that must support reforestation. Couples filing for divorce must provide at least one tree, according to Wibowo, the district secretary. The new rules are due to budget difficulties within the Garut district government, after the central government launched a plan to plant a million trees across Indonesia

Currently Indonesia has the highest rate of deforestation in Asia and second only to Brazil globally. The nation is also the largest source of greenhouse gas from deforestation and land use change due to the destruction of its particularly carbon-rich forests and peatlands. This steady deforestation has made Indonesia third in rank of greenhouse gas emissions following industrial behemoths like China and the United States.

Conversion of peatlands and deforestation in Indonesia is largely driven by logging and industrial oil palm plantations.

Reforestation has been increasingly encouraged by environmentalists as one of the most effective ways to mitigate climate change, aid beleaguered biodiversity, and protect essential ecosystem services such as clean water, seed dispersal, and rainfall.

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