Geared towards the goal of contributing to the improvement of biodiversity and increasing forest cover, ICTSI Foundation partnered with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) for a tree-growing project in Batangas.
Through RAFI’s One-Two-Tree (OTT) program, the partnership aims to plant and nurture 45,000 native trees in a 56-hectare-area for a 3-year-period in the municipalities of Balayan and Tuy, Batangas. ICTSI Foundation will solely fund this tree-growing project which is the first project partnership of RAFI-OTT in Luzon area.
RAFI OTT and ICTSI Foundation will work closely with three partner People’s Organizations (POs) namely: Samahan ng mga Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries of Brgy. Lucban, Balayan;, Calan Farmers Association of Barangay Calan, Balayan; and Samahan ng mga Magsasaka at Kababaihan of Brgy. Dao, Tuy, Batangas.
ICTSI has been an active advocate for environmental protection, which is one of its development pillars. With initiatives for wildlife and biodiversity conservation, sustainable solid waste management, and tree-growing initiatives, ICTSI Foundation’s environmental projects are spread across their various locations in the Philippines. They have been engaging their employees and subsidiaries in tree-growing activities while also supporting organizations with the same initiative.
“The primary objective of this partnership is to contribute to the overall effort of addressing the alarming level of global warming and climate change. Through this project, we hope to target our efforts on reforestation, while also providing livelihood opportunities to participating communities. With the expected big number of fruit-bearing trees to be nurtured, the project will hopefully add up to the food source in the area, not only for domestic consumption but for agri-business, as well” said Christian R. Gonzalez, President of ICTSI Foundation, Inc.
RAFI OTT collaborates with local farmers and community stakeholders to ensure the survival of trees in the area and to support the community for their environmental and socio-economic development. A series of training and workshops will be implemented to support their knowledge in the following aspects: farm design, seedling production and nursery establishment, site preparation and establishment, maintenance, and monitoring.
“RAFI OTT has always believed that collective efforts and engagement can make a significant impact on environmental preservation and conservation. We are very happy that this partnership with ICTSI Foundation has materialized, as we share the same environmental advocacy. It proved to us that the environment indeed brings communities together. We are truly grateful to have ICTSI Foundation as our first partner in our Luzon expansion as we continue to work forward, impacting not only the environment but also the communities that live within,” says Anthony Dignadice, Program Director of RAFI One To Tree.
Through the support and dedication of both organizations, combined with the efforts of over 50 local farmers, this partnership project hopes to realize its objectives and contribute to creating a positive impact on the environment. This tree-growing project will run for three years and see project completion by December 2024.