Globe Telecom intensifies reforestation drive

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A portion of land at Barangay Kalugmanan, Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon being prepared for Hineleban's reforestation program. (GNP image)

Globe Telecom and Hineleban Foundation Inc. are intensifying their reforestation advocacy and campaign.

On top of its pledged donation of P30 million within a 5-year period to cover the reforestation of 300 hectares of denuded primary rainforests in Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur, Globe and Hineleban are raising at least P18 million by end of 2021 to fund tree-planting activities with donations from business partners and the general public.

“Those who cannot physically plant a tree may have a tree planted on their name for a P100 donation,” according to Globe.

The donation can be made by texting (your name)<space>(number of trees to donate) to 2158-8733 (TREE). Donors may also visit http://hineleban.org/donate for more payment channel options.

An estimated P12 million are already donated from proceeds of the company’s paperless billing campaign and internal fund-raising activities since December 2016. Aside from donation, Globe has been urging the public to go digital via paperless billing to lessen their dependence on trees.

Globe and Hineleban also came out with online videos that educate the people on the severe state of Philippine primary rainforests that only have 1.5 percent of its cover remaining, the causes and effects of forest denudation, and ways on how everyone can help address the problem.

“We hope that these videos would serve as an eye-opener to many Filipinos and drive them to take action. We believe that through small, simple ways, anyone can contribute in preserving and protecting the environment including our rainforests,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Chief Sustainability Officer and Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications.

“This initiative is in line with our environmental sustainability policy designed to lessen the impact of our operations to the environment as well as promote environmental sustainability among our customers and stakeholders. It is also in support of the UN Sustainable Development Goals which seek to protect, restore and sustainably manage our forests to stop land degradation and biodiversity loss,” said Crisanto.

Globe has chosen to prioritize Bukidnon for its reforestation campaign in Mindanao since it hosts four main mountain ranges that serve as the watersheds for the island and where six major rivers emanate, providing the much-needed water for drinking, hydro power, and irrigation for agriculture food production. Together with two other mountain ranges in Lanao del Sur, these six mountain ranges are vital for food, water and energy security in Mindanao.

At present, almost nothing is left in the Philippines primary rainforest cover compared to about 70 percent over a century ago. This rapid decline is attributed primarily to widespread logging, rampant slash-and-burn practices, conversion of rainforests into farmlands, and the encroachment of human settlements in protected areas.

For instance, logging activities leading to forest denudation were reported as the cause of heavy flooding and mudslides that Mindanao experienced in December last year at the onslaught of back-to-back typhoons, prompting the government to stop all logging activities in the Zamboanga Peninsula. Without trees to absorb water from the soil, soil erosion as well as flooding usually occur during prolonged rainfall, causing danger to life and property.

During the dry season, there is a significant loss of rainfall and river water for irrigation across almost all of Mindanao resulting in an approximately 40 percent decrease in land productivity during a 30-year period. The National Irrigation Administration records showed a 75 percent decrease in the volume of river waters during the dry season over the last 30 years, thus, affecting crop cycles and food production.

Deforestation also leads to loss of clean drinking water from forest watersheds and to wildlife extinction due to the destruction of their natural habitat.

To help address the problem, Globe and Hineleban have started a drive to rebuild primary rainforests in Bukidnon and Lanao del Sur. This follows the rainforestation model methodology that comprises three major components: reforestation of denuded primary rainforest, food security and sustainable livelihood development.

Beyond reforestation efforts, Hineleban and Globe have been working together since 2016 to tap local communities to become guardians of the rainforests. The land area, which is the focus of the foundation’s reforestation program, engages more than 21 barangays and is home to the indigenous people of Bukidnon and Maranaos of Lanao del Sur.

p: wjg

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