WITH the Philippines being one of the most severely deforested countries in the tropics due to climate change, the private sector and civil society are working together to urgently address this massive threat to humanity.
As part of its mission to encourage more people to become biodiversity champions, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. (Rafi), through its biodiversity conservation arm, One To Tree (OTT), has partnered with Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), the company behind the digital financial services provider GCash, through its mobile application GCash Forest.
With over 33 million users, over 86,000 partner merchants and more than one million social sellers throughout the country, GCash Forest gives its users the power to reduce their carbon footprint, reforest the Philippines by planting and growing trees virtually and empower local communities.
To implement this project, Mynt and Rafi-OTT will partner to reforest areas in Carmen, Cebu, with 300,000 fruit-bearing trees and timber within five years. This partnership is set to increase watershed forest cover and contribute to biodiversity enhancement.
It will also support two partner communities in Carmen, namely Nagkahiusang Mag-u-uma sa Communal in Barangay Caurasan and Libuton Farmer’s Association in Barangay Liburon. Mynt and Rafi-OTT will collaborate with these partners on mechanisms to enhance sustainability of the tree growing initiative, including community mobilization, production of native tree seedlings, timber and/or agro-forestry development or enhancement training and maintenance and monitoring. This will also create an opportunity for alternative sources of income for the farmers.
We welcome Rafi as our green partner to achieve our goal in making the Philippines “greener” for our future generations to experience through GCash’s innovative cashless technology. We also commit to creating the so-called “lazy enviromentalists” into active and committed “green heroes” caring immensely for the environment starting in the Visayas but nationwide, said Martha Sazon, president and chief executive officer of GCash.
Rafi president and chief executive officer Amaya Aboitiz said, “This partnership will give those who may not be able to physically go out and plant or care for indigenous trees the opportunity to contribute to this effort — from wherever they may be.”
Rafi OTT, formerly known as Rafi Biodiversity Conservation Unit, has been active in reforestation and conservation for over two decades and has achieved a more than 80 percent survival rate for tree growing. (PR)