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Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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One Meralco Foundation, partner advocates expand plant 100K trees

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One Meralco Foundation (OMF), along with partners Fostering for Education and Development, Inc. (FEED) and University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), planted 100,000 native trees at the Laguna-Quezon Land Grant (LQLG).

The newest initiative, which falls under OMF’s One For Trees program, boosts the trees planted in the area to 202,004 and forms part of OMF’s support to sustainable reforestation in the 6,765-hectare forest area that stretches from Siniloan, Laguna to Real, Quezon.

This also complements OMF’s goal to preserve the native flora particularly in the south of the Sierra Madre mountain range. As with other abundant natural resources, the LQLG forests are threatened by unsustainable human activities like illegal tree cutting and slash-and-burn farming. Fuel wood collection and mining are also rampant which resulted in forest degradation.

“FEED’s effort in reforestation puts into the core empowering the community into becoming stewards of the forest. Through capacity building, training and raising their awareness, we ensure that planting is sustainable, inclusive and economical to them,” FEED Director for Partnerships Ms. Anne-Marie Bakker elaborated.

FEED’s initiative aligns well with OMF’s One For Trees Program, through which the foundation nurtures native trees in Philippine forests and watersheds, while providing livelihood opportunities to community members.

Last year, OFT partnered with FEED to plant and nurture 102,004 trees in the land grant. Through the expertise of FEED and UPLB, the program has ensured 95% survival rate of all native trees planted in the area. The land grant’s community farmers and forest rangers stewardship similarly play an instrumental role to the high survival of the new trees.

“One For Trees has inspired a lot of us in Meralco to take a second look on how important environmental sustainability is. Its impact on the environment may take some time to be realized but these activities form part of the rehabilitation and the strengthening of the ecosystem in the area. We can always look back at these simple acts of planting trees as a worthwhile investment and generations after us will benefit from it,” OMF President Mr. Jeffrey Tarayao said.

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