Fueled by the urgency to alleviate the harmful effects of climate change, the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., through its One To Tree (OTT) Program (RAFI OTT) partners with Insular Foundation Inc. to plant 10,000 native tree seedlings in Catmon, Cebu.
The “Growing lnLife: Native Tree Growing Project” aims to recover the tree cover lost and provide income augmentation for partner farmers. RAFI OTT will engage communities to protect and rehabilitate the environment by establishing native tree nurseries and tree plantations in communities located in the Municipality of Catmon, Cebu.
“It is a fact that climate change is immensely felt around the world. We are glad that this partnership with Insular Foundation is geared to help minimize its effects on our planet. This is more than just the usual tree growing activity because we want to achieve sustainability with it. Through the nurseries and plantations, we will promote protection of the environment while elevating the lives of the members of the communities especially the farmers. We at RAFI OTT want to establish that ‘bayanihan’ concept. We want to urge everyone in the community to participate in this collective effort to uplift and save the Earth,” said Anton Dignadice, Executive Director of RAFI One To Tree.
Driven with the shared vision for a sustainable environment, Insular Foundation and RAFI OTT signed a partnership agreement on April 22, 2022, held at the Insular Life Corporate Centre, Alabang, Muntinlupa, to support the sustainable development in Catmon, Cebu. As implementing partner, RAFI OTT will conduct technical trainings to assist partner communities to maintain production and growth of the seedlings planted.
“We are very happy to have found RAFI OTT, in our search for a suitable partner to give our own contribution to the effort of environment sustainability through the planting and growing 10,000 native trees,” said Ana Maria R. Soriano, Executive Director of Insular Foundation at the contract signing event.
With the plan to expand their sustainable environment advocacy, Insular Foundation, Inc. encourages its employees, agents as well as the partner site, the Municipality of Catmon, Cebu to develop deep environmental consciousness, as well as a changed mindset and lifestyle. The foundation continues to promote a sense of “tunay na pagbabago at tunay na malasakit” for the environment.
“With the 10,000 trees, at least we can be part of the conservation effort that you (RAFI-OTT) have been doing in Cebu. We can’t do this alone; we build on what RAFI has started. (…) We are supplementing so that in totality, we don’t look at it as Insular Foundation’s impact, but of course all the organizations that are pitching with their efforts together with RAFI,” said Teresita Melad, Program Manager of Insular Foundation, Inc.
True to the bayanihan spirit for a sustainable environment, RAFI OTT will work closely with Insular Foundation, Inc., community tree growing partners, and the Municipality of Catmon, Cebu for the implementation of the project and the successful set-up and production of 10,000 native tree seedlings. The Growing lnLife: Native Tree Growing Project will run for 32 months and see project completion by September 2024.
One To Tree (RAFI-OTT, formerly known as RAFI Biodiversity Conservation Unit (BCU)), has been active in reforestation and conservation for over two decades and has achieved more than 80% survival rate for native tree growing. RAFI-OTT also assists companies in the service delivery of Environmental Compliance Certificate requirements set by the Philippine Government, as well as helping them achieve carbon sequestration and biodiversity conservation goals.
The Insular Foundation is the corporate social responsibility subsidiary of Insular Life, and has been making a difference in Philippine society for more than 50 years through its flagship education program, The Insular Gold Eagle College Scholarship Grant, and its many other programs that advocate for social and economic mobility, sustainable environment, and employee volunteerism.