The Balikpapan city administration in East Kalimantan has issued a new regulation demanding couples to plant a tree before they can obtain a formal recommendation letter.
“That is true. We have made it mandatory for those wanting to get married to submit one tree seedling or else we will not give them a recommendation letter,” said city spokesperson Samauna Rizal as quoted by Antara newswire on Saturday.
A recommendation letter from a local district office is essential for the Religious Affairs Court to process a marriage proposal. Such measure has also been implemented in Sabang, Aceh, and Bandung, West Java.
Rizal said the new regulation was aimed at promoting awareness among the citizens of the importance trees to the natural habitat of human.
“For the mean time, the obligation to plant a tree is only imposed for those wanting to get married. Consider it as a wedding gift for the government,” he said.
He hoped that the planting trees would become a new habit of the citizens of Balikpapan. East Kalimantan has seen massive deforestation due to illegal logging and mining activities.
“Not only for weddings, but also for birthdays, circumcision celebration, party for having a first born or a golden wedding anniversary,” he said. (and)