1 Tahrcountry Musings: Want to marry? Plant trees

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Want to marry? Plant trees

Indonesia has long been troubled by deforestation. It has the unenviable reputation of having the highest rate of deforestation in Asia. Palm oil lobbies have played havoc with the environment. Environmentalists have been going hammer and tongs at the Government for its lackadaisical ways in enforcing forest laws.

Against the background of the above mentioned facts I was delighted to hear this piece of news from my Indonesian contacts. In an innovative move Garut district administration in Indonesia has come out with the rider that if the marriage is to be legally Okayed, the couple panning to get married must give ten trees to district administration for reforestation drive. In an adjunct move the administration has also decreed that divorces will be granted only after the supply of one tree. The latest move from the Garut administration comes in the wake of financial difficulties. Central administration had recently launched a scheme to plant million tress across Indonesia. Garut does not have the wherewithal to pursue the programme. The dovetailing of marriage registration to tree planting was a clever move to overcome the difficulties experienced.

The man who came up with the idea for the administration deserves fulsome praise. Hats off to him.

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