Forest Foundation Philippines (Forest Foundation) and Miriam College – Environmental Studies Institute (Miriam College – ESI), its grantee, have partnered with Cebu Pacific, the Philippines’ leading airline, to grow forests.
They will plant 5,200 native seedlings in a forestland in Barangay Laiban, Tanay, Rizal. On top of these, 601 seedlings will be personally adopted by Cebu Pacific employees. The forestland serves as a window to the Sierra Madre, the country’s longest mountain range. Sierra Madre, also known as the “backbone of Luzon,” helps protect the country from the onslaught of typhoons.
They will plant “narra”, “kamagong”, “antipolo”, “tibig”, and “banaba” and fruit – bearing trees in the forestland. These native trees will support recovery and expansion of forest habitats for wildlife, protect watershed and freshwater resources, improve the local natural landscapes, connect forest fragments, and secure the livelihoods of the forest dependent communities.
“Our tree planting initiative is part of our sustainability journey. It is our small way of contributing to environmental stewardship and supporting local livelihoods,” said Alex Reyes, Chief Strategy Officer at Cebu Pacific.
Atty. Jose Andres Canivel, Forest Foundation Executive Director, expressed hope that the collaboration will contribute to the protection and conservation of the forests in Luzon. “We are grateful how this partnership brought us to grow forests together during this difficult time. Despite reports stating that nature is recovering, our conservation challenges, in fact, remain. We are still losing forests and forest biodiversity. Our forest-dependent communities still need our support. By planting native and fruit-bearing trees, we are hopeful that this collaboration will enable us to contribute to both the protection and conservation of our forests and development of livelihood opportunities for our forest-dependent communities in Luzon,” said Canivel.
Ambassador Laura Q. Del Rosario, Miriam College President, said the joint project was a good example on how corporations work with other institutions to care about the environment. “With Cebu Pacific working in tandem with a school like Miriam College, under the guidance of the Forest Foundation Philippines, we can show that businesses do care and that they play a significant role in the reforestation movement,” Del Rosario said.
About the Organizations:
- Cebu Pacific is the leading airline in the Philippines, operating flights to over 60 domestic and international destinations across 14 countries, including Australia, China, Japan, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.
- Forest Foundation Philippines is a non-profit organization that provides grants to organizations that empower the people to protect and conserve the forests.
- Miriam College – Environmental Studies Institute, which traces its roots in the early 80s when environmental issues were integrated into the curriculum of Maryknoll college is a pioneer in school-based education and advocacy for the environment.