It was pre-dawn as the kitchen crew arrived at basecamp. Right away we proceeded into to the kitchen to prepare the feast for the celebration – after all, FEED’s partnership with One Meralco Foundation signed in October 2022 was going to install the largest single planting for FEED of 100,000 trees in one order – bringing up the cumulative count of trees FEED has facilitated over the half million mark since its Living Legacy programs took off in 2012. (The largest prior planting FEED was involved with in a single order was 40,000 mangroves in Bulacan).
Planting, reforestation and direct community support, thankfully, have been on the rise in direct response to the urgency experienced by many who were devastated by typhoons (tropical cyclone) Vamco (Ulysses) in 2020; Maring and Rai (Kompasu and Odette, respectively) in 2021; and Megi (Agaton), Noru (Karding) and Paeng (Nalge) in 2022 (as of this writing). Loss of safe (drinking and all other) water supplies; staple food; and access to health care facilities are just some of the basic but essential services missing or severely compromised after climate disasters hit the Philippines every year – costing the government/public, private, civil and NGO sectors billions of pesos in recovery efforts; not to mention individuals’ access to schooling (which has already been set back by two years of pandemic); and safe shelter.
The camp feels ecstatic that morning. The forrest guards are all in uniform (green and maroon to match the dawn’s forest colors), a drastic change from twenty years ago when FEED had to raise extra funds for basic trekking gear (i.e. raincoats, boots, shelter) for forest guardians patrolling the over 9,000 hectare protected Laguna Quezon Land Grant and Laguna Land Grant, both managed by FEED’s longest Living Legacy partner the University of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB).
“Some may see our efforts as a mere tree-planting, tree-growing, or tree-nurturing with a very high survival rate target. Yes, we require those. But more importantly, One For Trees also invests at building the capacities and improving the economic welfare and social well-being of the people who maintain these trees and ensures that the same trees will also benefit their own families and communities.” said Meralco Chief CSR Officer and OMF President Jeffrey O. Tarayao.
“Everyone scrambled for things they could contribute. I was honestly amazed by their coordination. Maybe this is because they have spent time covering each others’ backs in the forest for weeks at a time. They have impeccable teamwork, and a keen, responsive ability to anticipate each other’s movements and thus needs. It demonstrates trust in each other’s lives,” mentioned Roy, FEED’s social media reporter at the time (also co-author of this piece).
One Meralco Foundation (OMF) has been active since the early 2000’s and are now present throughout the Philippines funding projects directly related to restoring and rehabilitating nature’s critical or compromised assets, such as the Sierra Madres – longest mountain range in the Philippines, where they have allocated 100,000 thousand native Philippine fruit and flowering forest trees, as part of a partnership-based, community-driven alternative livelihood project under FEED’s Climate Change Actions Programs. Fifty (50) very lively, likeminded individuals full of vibrant life energy convened at the site to OMF launch on 27 October launch their “One for Trees” Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative for Nature and Community.
Such partnerships based on shared goals tend to foster many synergies. Nature’s life force combined with our energy are flip sides of the same coin; together, one in our joint effort to restore lost lands and livelihoods. Which made for a perfect day of teamwork, camaraderie and impact.
Thank you One Meralco Foundation, may the Forest be with you all always!
- One For Trees at Sierra Madre Mountains (malaya.com.ph)
- One Meralco Foundation’s One For Trees implemented in the Sierra Madre Mountains – SwirlingOverCoffee
- One Meralco Foundation’s One For Trees implemented in the Sierra Madre Mountains – LionhearTV
- One Meralco Foundation’s One For Trees implemented in the Sierra Madre Mountains – Orange Magazine
About One Meralco Foundation, Inc.
One Meralco Foundation represents transformation and a re-energized approach to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and sustainability, rallying employees of Meralco and its Subsidiaries and Affiliates business and government partners to carry out long-term and sustainable programs focus on the following areas: Community Electrification, Energy Education, Grassroots Partnerships, Emergency Preparedness & Disaster Response, Youth &Sports Advocacy, and Employee Volunteerism. More here: https://www.onemeralcofoundation.org/
GPS Coordinates & FEED Photo Gallery
GPS Coordinates to follow.
OMF Photo Gallery
Climate Change Commission Philippines
We are facing the greatest environmental challenge of our generation. As a threat multiplier, climate change compounds existing issues such as migration, poverty, social conflict, and political instability. It disproportionately affects the poorest of the poor through food insecurity, higher food prices, lost livelihood opportunities, and adverse health impacts. As further affirmed in the IPCC Fifth Assessment Report (AR5), human influence on climate has been the dominant cause of observed warming since the mid-20th century as the global average surface temperature warmed by 0.85°C between 1880 and 2012.
But what is more alarming is that the current business-as-usual trend in global carbon emissions leads to a 4°C global warming scenario by the end of the century, according to IPCC Special Report on Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C.
For vulnerable developing countries like the Philippines, 1.5 is that threshold of chance and hope. Limiting global warming to 1.5°C is still technically and economically feasible, but will require rapid and far-reaching transitions, especially in land, energy, industry, buildings, transport, and cities. To contain warming at this level, man-made global net carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions would need to fall by about 45 percent by 2030 from 2010 levels and reach “net zero” by mid-century. This means that any remaining emissions would need to be balanced by removing CO2 from the air.
Impact of 1.5°C or 2°C Warming
The IPCC Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C underscores that meeting a 1.5°C (2.7°F) target is possible but would require deep emission reductions and rapid, far-reaching and unprecedented changes in all aspects of society. It also finds that “limiting global warming to 1.5°C compared with 2°C would reduce challenging impacts on natural ecosystems, human health, and well-being” and that a 2°C temperature increase would exacerbate diminishing Arctic sea ice, rising sea levels , and extreme weather/climate events, and second-order impacts, such as coral bleaching , and degradation of ecosystems, among others. There would be increased risks to health, livelihoods, food security, water supply, human security, and economic growth.
Impact vectors include reduction in crop yields and nutritional quality. Livestock are also affected with rising temperatures as reflected by the changes in feed quality, incidence of diseases, and limited water resource availability. Further, risks from vector-borne diseases like malaria and dengue fever are also projected to increase.
Limiting global warming to 1.5°C could reduce the number of people both exposed to climate-related risks and susceptible to poverty by up to several hundred million by 2050.
How Trees Secretly Talk to Each Other (BBC News)
Trees talk and share resources right under our feet, using a fungal network nicknamed the Wood Wide Web. Some plants use the system to support their offspring, while others hijack it to sabotage their rivals.
Join us in helping reverse the Earth’s “hothouse climate” tipping point. Plant plant plant.
Tree-Planting with FEED
View original video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CPC29Rwr6Pg
© Fostering Education & Environment for Development, Inc.