9 November 2019, Sierra Madre Mountain Range, Siniloan, Laguna. “We are seeding (Socially Engaged in Environmental Development)” – that is Nat Re’s advocacy tagline when it comes to environmental preservation, restoration and bio-diversification of ecosystem services to the Philippines.
On the 9th of November this year, 31 super keen Earth Warriors from the National Reinsurance Corporation of the Philippines (Nat Re) committed to and planted 370 native Philippine tropical forest trees to enhance the biodiversity, restore lost forest cover and support community livelihood development in Barangay Magsaysay, Siniloan, Laguna – at the over 9,000 hectare protected Laguna Quezon Land Grant (LQLG).
The day began with welcome coffees and teas for all participants, who arrived admiring the upland forests they had arrived at (from the LQLG Training Center); followed by a welcome talk on FEED’s LIVING LEGACY Clime Change Action Programs by Partnerships Director, Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker, followed by the Status of Philippine Forests by Forester Reynaldo Lorida, LQLG Field Manager, and an Inspirational Message by Nat Re’s President & CEO Allan Santos.
Santos (pictured above far-right with Forester Rey Lorida and Nat Re’s HRD Head Gina Papa) mentioned his thanks to all those who enabled the planting to take place, citing: “Land restoration and agro-forestry leadership in action can both help stabilise our climate by storing carbon, as well as provide critical ecosystems rehabilitation for the birds, bees, bats and other natural propagators. We are especially grateful to be able to also support sustainable community livelihood development for those forest guards and families who ensure that proper maintenance and monitoring are also conducted to achieve the targeted 85%-95% survival espoused by FEED and at the LQLG”.
Mam Gina also explained why Nat Re chose to work with FEED, having been convinced from onset of our first meetings in 2019 on sustainability talks that “We were searching for and found a non-profit organization dedicated to not only reforesting the Philippines in a sustainable manner, but doing so with an authentic spirit of engagement, effort and impact; a science-based, proven tried and tested approach; and benefiting local communities in terms of immediate and lasting livelihood opportunities and enhancement programs, and we found that in FEED.”
“A new study extols the “mindblowing” potential of widespread tree planting as a solution to climate breakdown. The scientists claim that 1bn hectares of treeless land could be forested – and the study’s authors say restoration of such areas could remove two-thirds (205 gigatonnes) of all the carbon dioxide emissions pumped into the atmosphere by human activities since the 1800s. ” (Source: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jul/09/planting-trees-planet-people-nature-climate-crisis-communities)
FEED President and Founder, Ophelia Bakker-Mananquil offered her official statement of thanks to Nat Re after hearing about the partnership’s continued strengthening, success and positive results: “FEED and its longest Living Legacy partner the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) are always grateful to collaborate with private sector organizations such as Nat Re – with those who share the same passion, drive and true stewardship towards generating results with a positive impact on society at large; particularly those who conscientiously contribute to much-needed socio-economic and environmental support programs in the Philippines. For without your private sector investments and well-meaning Earth Champions, we would not be able to continue our work. Thank you to all at Nat Re for taking a leading position in sustainability and inspiring a greener footprint for others!”
Before heading out on their comfortable nature walk to Nat Re’s assigned planting site, a stretching and warm up was done with everyone to ensure was ready for the first nursery work on seeds propagation, collection and bagging at the main nursery area. On top of their pre-committed 370 native trees, Nat Re Earth Warriors managed to bag an additional 51 native species from seeds and organic compost, including Katmon, Bani, Narra and Malaruhat – indigenous species to the area, which they would then plant 8-12 month aged seedlings at site.
Once the 51 new seedlings were accounted for and water sprayed, we trekked 20 more minutes upland to about 1,650 ft to NatRe’s planting site, a former Abaca research & production area, which was recently relocated to the neighbouring Laguna Land Grant (LLG site next to LQLG) for further expansion. The Philippines remain the world’s largest producer of abaca, which closely resembles and is related to the banana plant (Musa sapientum).
Upon arrival at NatRe’s designated mini-forest, a practical demonstration was carried our by LQLG’s Forester Rey Lorida and Forest Guard Larry on proper debagging and planting at root collar level of each species.
Everyone was sweating by 1030AM having completed the planting and quality control of the 370 forest trees, so we sought refuge under some remaining Abaca trees to regroup, rehydrate and rest before heading back on the 40 minutes walk to the Training Center.
Passing through the main nursery again, some Nat Re participants enjoyed rubbing citronella grass on their arms and clipping some insulin plants from the nursery to recoup some lost sugars, before arriving back at base camp for the native binalot chicken adobo, rice, kamatis, egg and banana – prepared by the wives of the forest guards and local community residents (who are all also involved in the nursery expansion activities, citronella oil extraction, agro-forestry development, site preparation and maintenance of all FEED plantings at LQLG).
Once everyone had freshened up after enjoying their native meal, certificates were handed out to all Nat Re Earth Warriors for having accomplished the full program by Nat Re President & CEO Allan Santos, Forester Rey Lorida and Nat Re’s Gina Papa, SAVP and Head of Human Resources Department. Special thanks were also given to Ms. Marian Albano, Corporate Communications, Brand & Special Projects Officer, who we also planted for in her absence.
GPS Coordinates Captured for Remote Monitoring
Use any GPS (Global Positioning System) software / applications to input the latitude and longitude coordinates to be able to remotely see the location of your trees planted. Some examples include:
Nat Re’s contribution also included a partial contribution to the FEED scholarship fund in sustainability, which focuses on practical and short/mid/long term impactful research in the fields of agriculture, agroforestry, environmental, forestry & natural resources management, and related studies.
FEED’s last thesis scholars graduated top in their respective studies at the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB) this year. Maria Rovelyn D. Tumaneng’s research focused on “How climate change affects the distribution of threatened species such as dipterocarps“; and John Marlon P. Magbuo graduated Cumlaude with Honors from UPLB’s College of Forestry & Natural Resources (CFNR) with a thesis focused on “Forest Restoration Using Native Tree Species at DBP Project Site, LQLG, Siniloan, Laguna“.
Nat Re had also prior organized with FEED their “Hidden Benefits of Urban Gardening @ Work: Nat Re Sponsors Air Plants for Staff Health & Well-Being” – demonstrating their core values* of integrity, collaboration and sustainability, by having made urban gardening a reality for the well-being of their staff; to also give back to the environment, take climate change action, protect biodiversity and help green the Philippines last 2nd of August 2019.
Thank you Nat Re EARTH WARRIORS & CHAMPIONS for taking Climate Change Action into your own hands, for braving the rain, heat and snakes, and for taking your environmental stewardship to a whole new level. May the Forest be with you all, Always!
Nat Re Photo Journal (Slideshow)
FEED Photo Journal (Slideshow)
Planting trees could buy more time to fight climate change than thought
Earth has 0.9 billion hectares that are suitable for new forests.
By Susan Milius
JULY 17, 2019 AT 9:02 AM
A whopping new estimate of the power of planting trees could rearrange to-do lists for fighting climate change.
Planting trees on 0.9 billion hectares of land could trap about two-thirds the amount of carbon in the atmosphere that’s come from human activities since the start of the Industrial Revolution, a new study finds. The planet has that much tree-friendly land available for use. Without knocking down cities or taking over farms or natural grasslands, reforested pieces could add up to new tree cover totaling just about the area of the United States, researchers report in the July 5 Science.
The new calculation boosts tree planting to a top priority for gaining some time to fight climate change, says coauthor Tom Crowther, an ecologist at ETH Zurich. The study used satellite images to see how densely trees grow naturally in various ecosystems. Extrapolating from those images showed how much forest similar land could support. Plant a mix of native species, he urges. That will help preserve the birds, insects and other local creatures.
The analysis revealed space to nourish enough trees to capture some 205 metric gigatons of carbon in about a century. That’s close to 10 times the savings expected from managing refrigerants, the top item on a list of climate-fighting strategies from the nonprofit Project Drawdown, a worldwide network of scientists, advocates and others proposing solutions to global warming.
The benefit of tree planting will shrivel if people wait, the researchers warn. Earth’s climate could change enough by 2050 to shrink the places trees can grow by some 223 million hectares if the world keeps emitting greenhouse gases as it does now, the analysis suggests.
More trees here
A map of the planet’s potential to support new forests avoids cities, farmlands and natural grasslands to rate the remaining land as likely to support low (yellow) to high (blue) canopy cover.
Still, storing carbon is only one of the ways that trees could affect climate, says Cat Scott, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Leeds in England who was not involved in the research. Just how these other factors play off each other is not yet clear. She and colleagues have developed computer simulations of trees contributing to cooling a landscape by releasing airborne molecules that invite clouds to form.
Even something as simple as the darkness of tree leaves can change how much heat a landscape absorbs or reflects. Expanding forests into formerly snow-bright, reflective zones, for instance, might warm them. In the tropics, however, the enhanced cooling from clouds might be the more powerful effect.
Ultimately, in the struggle against climate change, such heroic tree planting merely “buys us time,” says study coauthor Jean-François Bastin, also an ecologist at ETH Zurich. But that’s time human societies could use to stop emitting greenhouse gases, the real solution to climate change, he says.
About Nat Re
Our Life Business
We help our clients develop new products for new markets or new distribution, create marketing plans, build underwriting and administration capabilities, and review and refine products.
Our team members’ extensive experience in direct writing companies affords us the ability to refine pricing to match with the appropriate underwriting approach of the chosen distribution and/or market.
We offer traditional reinsurance of mortality and morbidity risks, medical reinsurance, catastrophe, and coinsurance. Our strength is in Group Insurance where credit life and employee benefit lines dominate.
Our Non-Life Business
We offer a comprehensive range of reinsurance arrangements covering motor, property, casualty, marine, and surety. We offer tailored solutions to help our clients manage their risks and grow their portfolio through treaty and facultative reinsurance programs, as well as provide support for the development of insurance products and services.
We promote the development of the local insurers by providing a mechanism for the distribution of risks to allow companies to maximize retention and reduce portfolio volatility
Through our established local presence, knowledge of regulations, and familiarity with market players and practices, we are able to provide global reinsurers with an efficient platform for access to the local market for the distribution of products and services, deployment of underwriting capacity, and delivery of related services to local insurers.
For more details, visit: https://www.nat-re.com/
In 2015, the Philippine government submitted to the United Nations the country’s commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The country committed to reduce its carbon emissions by 70 percent by 2030. The carbon dioxide reductions will come from the sectors of energy, transport, waste, forestry and industry.
FEED runs a number of Students and Volunteers for the Environment (SAVE); Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) – such as mangrove planting for coastal protection or ridge reforestation plantings; One Child, One Tree; Bio-Intensive Gardens (BIG) for nutrition in public elementary schools and other spaces; Climate Change Survival 101 and other LIVING LEGACY programs – customised environmental engagement activities for individuals and organisations interested in contributing to climate change adaptation efforts and greening critical areas such as watersheds, ridges, and reefs that all require rehabilitation.
Join us! Help us reverse the Earth’s “hothouse climate” tipping point.
Tree-Planting with FEED
Check out the video journey by Clueless Commuter who planted with us last 24th of June 2017 to get a good idea of how FEED plantings go: https://youtu.be/KROn4rjVqBg
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