Aboitiz Group-wide tree planting initiative fosters biodiversity

Team members of the Aboitiz Group plant saplings of Agoho, Talisay, and Bitaog trees at the LPPCHEA in the Manila leg of its Simultaneous Group-wide Tree-Planting activity last Saturday.

Over 50,000 trees were planted across the country in a simultaneous tree-planting activity by the Aboitiz Group last weekend, promoting biodiversity in various areas including an urban coastal wetland that is home to at least 5,000 migratory birds flying the East Asian-Australasian flyway.

The 175-hectare protected wetland called the Las Pinas-Paranaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), which is included in the Ramsar List of Wetlands of International Importance, is one of the 16 areas nationwide that were chosen by the group for its yearly reforestation initiative.

Between 2004 and 2012, an average of 23 different bird species was recorded in this area during the months when birds flee the harsh Russian winter for the warm Australian summer.

“Hitting our targeted number of trees is important, but choosing the right place to plant these trees is of equal significance,” said Aboitiz Equity Ventures (AEV) President and Chief Executive Officer Erramon I. Aboitiz.

He said that the wetland called ‘Long Island’ and its neighboring ‘Freedom Island’ are critical areas that promote biodiversity.

“Given the impact such a small patch of land has on a wider part of the planet, our sense of responsibility as its caretakers and the consequence of this effort becomes even more critical,” Mr. Aboitiz pointed out.

He added that the collective effort of Aboitiz team members in ensuring that natural ecosystems continue to support their ecological functions is a re-enforcement of a responsible mindset – one that ultimately addresses the issue on climate change.

This year, more than 3,000 Aboitiz team members from 24 business units in various parts of the country participated in the activity, bringing the Aboitiz Group closer to attaining its 3 million trees target by 2015.

The tree-planting activity is part of the group’s flagship sustainability project called Aboitiz Passion for Agroforest and Reforest to Keep (APARK). As of last year, the group has already planted 2.7 million trees and it is confident it will attain its target by the end of the year or two years ahead of schedule.

Apart from tree-planting, some Aboitiz team members also engaged in coastal clean-up activities.

Other areas that benefited from the tree-planting activity are Makban, Laguna; Tiwi, Albay; Guba, Cobcawa, Cebu; Marilog District, Talomo, and Marilog, Davao; Dimapatoy Watershed in Cotabato; Ambuklao and Binga in Benguet; Magat Watershed in Ifugao, Maco, Compostela Valley; Nasipit and Capas, Tarlac, and Sta.Elena, Iligan.  #