White & Case Global Operations Center (Manila) LLP Propagate Coral Nursery for La Union’s Climate Defence

26 October 2019, Urbiztondo Beach, San Juan, La Union.  18 staunch environmental practitioners, professionals and planters from White & Case Global Operations Center (Manila) LLP arrived earlier than scheduled for their 2nd Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) environmental and education advocacy with FEED, this time Coral Propagation & Planting at Urbiztondo Beach, San Juan, La Union – also known as the “Surfing Capital of the North“.

FEED-LL-CSR-WHITECASE-2-CORALPROPLU-1-26OCT20197Having already had a pre-dawn breakfast after their 4 hour convoy from Manila, these Earth Warriors were rearing to get started with the welcome talks on climate change taking place at FEED partner venue Urbiz Garden; and how La Union constituents – primarily those involved with social enterprises and home-grown businesses active in educational and environmental support to local communities –  are making sweeping change happen by participating in, sponsoring, innovating and/or just being eco-aware and incorporating eco-innovations into their business practices.

lu-soul-logo2Tina Antonio, owner of Urbiz Garden, founder of La Union Soul (of which FEED is a member) and FEED Ambassador since 2016,  and also known as our local “protector of turtles and trees”, mentioned how increasingly important it is to work with private sector and youth volunteers, companies, organizations and people who will pioneer climate action:

Tina-FEED-Amba“It is thanks to individuals like yourselves who go out of your way, to help us implement the sustainable tourism marketing plan we envision for La Union province; you are now a part of our community building eco-tourism effort – involving various private, public and NGO agencies keen to ensure the preservation of marine life and respective livelihoods in the “surfing capital of the North” – with the ultimate aim to protect the local economy, its local stakeholders and our reliance on clean, safe and secure waters for all living creatures. Thank you White & Case Earth Warriors!”

FEED-LL-CSR-WHITECASE-2-CORALPROPLU-1-26OCT201948The 4 feet waves appeared bearable when our FEED team checked call time at 5AM, but upon nearing the Ocean Quest Global (OQG)/La Union Surf Club, Inc. (LUSC) coral nursery just outside Urbiz Garden at 7AM, the swell had picked-up and made it difficult for even the most experienced swimmers with snorkles and flippers; so for those non-trained or certified to enter the 6 feet deep waters, the task would have been even more challenging.  Fortunately, FEED’s support team – comprising Keks, Reymar and Anne – 3 (of the 11 first-time ever trained surfing community in coral propagation by OQG and

Sea Shepherd Dive) LUSC-certified surf instructors from Jongky Surf School – were able to assist OQG  Marine Biologist and 9 year resident of La Union, Laura Riavitz, transport substrate and loose corals for the coral propagation training exercise to take place on the beach front itself, just outside the nursery, where every participant was able to experience the process of coral propagation using organic substrate and a specially invented organic “catalyst” developed by OQG founder himself Anwar Abdullah.

Laura then held an Intro to Coral Propagation talk with the team, prior to the land based demonstration on how to propagate corals in a nursery; and her findings based on 2 years research in La Union province with FEED, Jongky Surf School and LUSC members, resulting in the proper identification of species suitable to planting in specific parts of La Union’s coral walls.

After the coral propagation training was completed by the 18 White & Case participants, it was time to deliver 18 new baby corals to the nursery, guided by the 3 certified Jongky Surf School (and LUSC members and surf instructors), swimming with the currents, riptides and waves to the 6 ft nursery in the under water alcove – for further nurturing, protection, maintenance and reporting for another 3-6 months before readied for successful outplanting. Check out OQG’s intro to coral propagation here:

Native binalot chicken adobo and veggies were served afterwards, with the corporate CSR Certificate of Participation being handed over officially to  White & Case Global Operations Center (Manila) LLP. as second time FEED CSR Patrons of Education & Environment. Part of their contribution is a partial FEED scholarship fund, which will be partially allocated to the next round of scholars in La Union (to be updated here, once assigned in the new academic year 2020).

EARTH WARRIORS from White & Case Global Operations Center (Manila) LLP


1 Paulo Artiaga 10 Honey Mae Estolano
2 Marissa Caisip 11 Al Magtalas
3 Allad Caingcoy 12 Dean Michael Marzo
4 Jan Imari Callejo 13 Ivan John Pacano
5 Zhaque Carlos 14 Migi Quiambao
6 Erwin Khoyoy Claver 15 Ranilo Reyes Jr.
7 Aprile Joy De Leon 16 Dana May Sanchez
8 Jean Mari De Luna 17 Locsin Sheena
9 Izaniel Dela Cruz 18 Paul Villanueva

This is your second time planting with FEED, after having successfully adding 650 mangrove propagules to Bulacan’sGreat Wall of Mangrovess” you planted last October 2018 in Bulacan.

We are proud of your accomplishments and continued dedication to protecting our Philippine shores and environment.

May the Earth’s Forests and her Blessings be with you always!

Structure of Coral Reefs: Largest Structures on EARTH of Biological Origin  

Corals appear in the fossil record more than 400 million years ago, yet the corals that build modern reefs appear only over the last 25 million years. However, marine reefs extend back in the fossil record for several 100 million years.  How can this be?

Coral polyps secrete a calcium carbonate skeleton
Even in present-day coral reefs, not all of the biologically derived structure is created by corals (and not all modern reefs are coral).

Up to one-half of a ‘coral’ reef’s mass may  include ‘stablizing’ organisms such as calcareous algae (e.g. coraline red) and encrusting bryozoans, and ‘boring’organisms such as sponges, tube worms, and bivalves.


Food webs and energy flow in coral reef ecosystems

Coral reefs are extremely productive ecosystems located in nutrient-poor environments.  Most of the living surface of coral reefs are animals (i.e. heterotrophic consumers).  Where then is the energy supporting this system coming from?
What is the relationship between many corals and zooxanthellae that inhabitat their gut lining?
(Coral color is determined in part zooxanthellae pigments so expulsion under conditions causing stress results in coral ‘bleaching’)Nutrient recylcing is very efficient.  How is this achieved in coral ecosystems?Not all energy and nutrients obtained by corals are derived from symbiotic zooxanthellae.  What other sources of energy might be available (Hint: recall the nematocyst on the tentacles on cnidarians) and is this source derived from the coral reef ecosystem?
Reef fish are the dominant vertebrates exerting grazing/predation pressures (70% carnivorous, 20% herbivorous, and 10% omnivorous).

Photo Slideshow: White & Case Coral Propagation, La Union

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Let these then speak volumes.

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About White & Case Global Operations Center (Manila) LLP

In Manila we handle a substantial line-up of processes in office administration, compliance and new business, finance, technology, human resources, knowledge resources and marketing.

Since 2007, our team has steadily grown from an initial employee headcount of five people to its current staff of more than 400 people, making it one of White & Case’s largest offices. In its first decade, our Global Operation Centre here has established a reputation for providing world-class business support.

We are committed to the continuous professional development of our team members, championing excellence in a dynamic, challenging and rewarding work environment. Our goal is to provide a learning and development path that is tailored toward each individual and leverages on their strengths. Learning track programs also give members of our team the chance to acquire new skills and knowledge.

The distinct culture of community and integrity at our Manila office is a key component in our ability to consistently deliver excellent service and innovative solutions. We value work-life balance and create avenues for empowerment through engagement activities and social responsibility initiatives.

More about White & Case Global Operations Center (Manila) LLP:  https://www.whitecase.com/careers/locations/philippines


save_logoIn 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 TreeBio-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


Contact us at FEED for more details, to join our regular activities or to design your own tree-nurturing eventinfo@feed.org.ph or call/text +63 (0)917 552 4722.

© Fostering Education & Environment for Development, Inc.