From April 14-15, 50 Cathay Pacific Airlines volunteers and employees planted 8,000 mangrove seedlings in Hagonoy, Bulacan – one of the most flood prone areas in Luzon, Philippines.
The event launched Cathay Pacific’s “1 Ticket, 1 Tree” campaign held last November 2022, demonstrating their commitment to planting a tree for every flight ticket purchased in Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, and Cambodia.
Nats Sali, Founder of One Child, One Tree (pictured here with her husband Rham) says: “This type of climate change action by a leading mainstream international carrier is a positive, proactive and powerful step towards carbon sequestration through reforestation; it is not only up to those with ecological footprints who should plant, it’s all of us if we wish to see sweeping change in our lifetimes”. The two day tree planting event was organized in collaboration with its “One Child, One Tree” volunteers, also to celebrate Earth Day, an annual event celebrated on April 22nd to promote awareness and action towards environmental protection.
The Cathay Pacific volunteers demonstrated their dedication to environmental protection by working tirelessly in knee deep flood waters, uneven terrain, limited visiblity when hole digging and braving the rains and choppy waters and winds to get to the site to plant 8,000 mangroves.
“Planting of mangrove trees is an important step towards mitigating the impact of climate change and carbon emissions, and we recognize that mangroves are known to be highly efficient in sequestering carbon from the atmosphere,” voiced Nats Sali, FEED Ambassador and Founder of the One Child, One Tree movement, partners with FEED since 2017.
Mangrove trees provide a range of benefits, including carbon sequestration, erosion control, and habitat for marine life. By planting these trees, the volunteers contributed to the protection of the local ecosystem and the communities, typically fishing cooperatives, that are part of FEED’s community-based social forestry approach.
Increasing and recent studies are revealing that mangroves might be able to sequester 4x times more carbon than rainforests, which most of the carbon stored in the soil beneath mangrove trees. Uniquely adapted to their habitats, mangrove trees are able to filter out salt and breathe through their roots.
The success of this project is a testament to the power of partnerships and community action for sustainable development, which, on top of water and food security, works also towards the 17th of the Sustainable Development Goals.
FEED’s Director of Partnerships, Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker, thanked all partners involved in this collaborative approach, stating that “since neither government/public sector, private or non-profit can tackle climate change alone. It is only through partnerships, commitment and especially the involvement of local communities – the other ‘frontliners’ (i.e. farmers, fisherfolks and forest dwellers) that we will be able to have meaningful impact since they live here and are willing to maintain and monitor on our behalf. Empowering local communities through capacity building, livelihood provision, fair and honorable treatment is at the core of climate resilience in the Philippines, because despite being the most neglected and marginalized members of our society, they hold a central and thus critical role as protectors of our water and food security. They are our unsung heroes.”
Thank you Cathay Pacific, May the Forest be with you all, always!
On Carbon Sequestration – How Much CO2 can our trees absorb?
Trees are often referred to as the “lungs of the Earth” as they are able to store carbon and produce oxygen, which is essential to many life forms. Trees also stabilise soil and reduce air temperature and humidity, whilst also reducing flooding and improving water quality. Without trees, most fauna and flora would not survive, what more humans?
It is widely accepted that a typical tree can absorb around 22 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) per year when in fully grown status, meaning that saplings, seedlings and younger trees – whether mangroves or primary or secondary forest trees – absorb around half, so conservatively say 11 kgs per year (also widely used by most international forestry agencies around the world).
So, over a lifetime of a tropical tree (100 years), one tree can absorb around 1 tonne of CO2. Although this figure seems large, it should be measured in perspective: to date we humans generate around 40 billions tonnes of CO2 each year on Earth. Which means, that we need to plant 40 billion trees annually to offset these emissions.
NATURE IS SPEAKING (Narrated by Julia Roberts)
What can I do to stop climate change?
“As the world warms, extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense, sea levels are rising, prolonged droughts are putting pressure on food crops, and many animal and plant species are being driven to extinction. It’s hard to imagine what we as individuals can do to resolve a problem of this scale and severity.
The good news: We are not alone. People, communities, cities, businesses, schools, faith groups and other organizations are taking action. We’re fighting like our lives depend on it — because they do.
In a world of more than seven billion people, each of us is a drop in the bucket. But with enough drops, we can fill any bucket.” – David Suzuki
Check out some of the ways you can take more climate change action.
For example, Climate Action groups are the local solution to a global crisis. Right now people just like you are coming together to develop practical, local solutions and make their towns and cities more climate-friendly. Are you ready to join them? Find out what’s happening near you.
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. Join us! Help us reverse the Earth’s “hothouse climate” tipping point.
Tree-Planting with FEED
© Fostering Education & Environment for Development, Inc.