Indonesian district couples must bring seedlings to their wedding


JAKARTA, AFP

Couples intending to tie the knot in an Indonesian district in West Java have begun arriving at the local marriage registry office clutching trees as part of a reforestation drive.

Lily Hambali Hasan, the head of Purwakarta district, had called on the couples, and promoted government workers, to donate seedlings to boost tree cover.

He made the call two years ago but the initiative has caught on with officials only recently, helping to replant some 8,750 hectares (21,630 acres), according to Hasan’s figures.

“No regulation has been issued, this is just a call by the district chief, but in practice it may have become obligatory in some cases,” Asep Gumelar, a Purwakarta spokesman, told AFP.

Couples typically brought a couple of seedlings or other crops with them to the marriage office, he said, and forestry officials distributed them for planting free of charge.

“Any official getting a rank promotion also has to donate trees,” Gumelar said.