To help address the need for forest restoration in the Philippines, the Haribon Foundation received a $25,000 grant from General Electric (GE) Foundation.
A large part of the money will go to the “Rainforest Organizations and Advocates (ROAD) to 2020,” an environmental conservation movement of Haribon to restore one million hectares of Philippine rainforests using native tree species by year 2020. The project promotes “rainforestation,” a reforestation strategy that uses native tree species to recover and conserve biodiversity, reduce the risks of natural hazards and enhance option for sustainable livelihood through the “Adopt-A-Seedling” program.
The grant will also support “Biodiversity on Wheels” (BOW) a project geared towards cultivating the importance of biodiversity on the minds of the young generation. The BOW visits different communities and public schools around the Philippines and conducts fun-filled activities to promote biodiversity conservation.
“It’s all about giving back to humanity. GE as a company believes in doing this through biodiversity projects that help the environment and partnering with a well-established NGO like Haribon to ensure results,” GE Volunteers Philippines leader Crisostomo Martin said. “One tree supplies the oxygen requirement of four persons. With a population of almost 100 million, we definitely need more trees in our country in order for us to live healthier lives.”
Haribon Foundation Chairman John Lesaca expressed his gratitude to GE for its support. “We are looking forward to a strong partnership with GE towards conserving our environment,” he said. “Through this project, we are positive that the Filipinos of today and the generation to come will be able to enjoy the ecological benefits of our natural resources,” he continued.
Lesaca also stressed the importance of protecting biodiversity. “Mother nature is the only power that does not select between rich or poor, black or white, young or old . . . When it hits, it hits and everybody along the path will fall.”
GE has been an active partner in various environmental efforts of Haribon Foundation. On August 2, 2011 GE provided 500 volunteers for a Haribon tree-planting event in Laguna. And in 2013 and 2014, GE Volunteers participated in the maintenance activities in Buhay Punlaan—a nursery for Philippine native trees located in Barangay Lewin, Lumban, Laguna.