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10 trees to wed, just one for divorce

THE Indonesian province of West Java has ordered couples planning to get married to provide 10 trees to local authorities for a reforestation program, an official said yesterday.

Anyone filing for divorce in Garut district in West Java would also have to fork out for at least one tree, he said.

"The Garut government wants to encourage couples getting married, as well as those seeking divorce, to support a national reforestation program, given budget limitations," said the official. Under a new regulation issued last month, couples would have to contribute trees to the forestry unit before their marriage could be legally sanctioned.

Indonesia has some of the world's largest remaining reserves of tropical forests, but pressure from agriculture as well as illegal logging has damaged huge tracts of forest.

The government of Indonesia launched a program in December to plant one million trees to help with reforestation.


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