THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently renewed its partnership with the Aboitiz Group to promote ecological balance, including the planting of 9 million trees by 2020.
A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was recently signed by the DENR and Aboitiz Group in time for the celebration of World Environment Day on June 5.
The signing of the MOA was undertaken and witnessed by Carlos Aboitiz, Hedcor president, and chief operating officer; David Jude Sta. Ana, Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. chief corporate external affairs officer; Sabin M. Aboitiz, AEV COO; Jonas R. Leones, DENR undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs; Ricardo Calderon, DENR assistant secretary; and Nonito Tamayo, DENR director, Forest Management Bureau.
The Aboitiz Group said it is on track in reaching its 9 million trees target by 2020, after planting a total of 6.6 million trees or 73 percent of the target as of 2018 through its simultaneous tree planting (STP) initiative.
STP is under A-Park-the group's largest environmental program that supports the Expanded National Greening Program (ENGP).
The planting of 9 million trees by the end of 2020 would mean the conversion of an estimated 189,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2) into oxygen or the equivalent of about 9,000 hectares of lush reforested areas, or more than 37 times the size of Bonifacio Global City.
In a statement, Sabin reiterated the group's commitment to the DENR's programs.
'We strongly believe and adhere to the DENR's mandate to protect the environment and we anchor our initiatives to the ENGP to sustain ecological balance. Our enduring partnership with the DENR for community-based forest management is a testament to our shared responsibility and highlights our contribution to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal on Climate Action,' Sabin said.
Since 2010 Aboitiz team-member volunteers gather in chosen planting sites in various parts of the country to plant indigenous trees, a manifestation of their commitment to environmental stewardship. Aboitiz is currently one of DENR's active ENGP partners.
'This MOA signing is a crucial step toward ensuring continuity in making a positive impact on our national development. It represents the essence of the Aboitiz Group purpose and brand promise: to drive change for a better world by advancing business and communities,' Aboitiz added.
This July, the Aboitiz Group will further contribute to A-Park at its annual STP activity, where an estimated 95,000 seedlings will be planted by Aboitiz team members and stakeholders nationwide.
Under the MOA, the DENR will offer additional support by mobilizing all its bureaus, attached agencies, and DENR regional offices to provide support for the implementation of the A-Park project; providing technical assistance in identifying a possible site, for planting and species-site matching; and assisting in the documentation of planted trees, which includes geo-tagging, plantation registry, and mapping, among others.
The Aboitiz Group is investing P500 million as part of its carbon management program. Other environmental programs include waste reduction through the group's 'Race to Reduce' program and the Aboitiz Cleanergy Park, home to the critically endangered hawksbill turtle or pawikan. All these programs are strategically implemented among all Aboitiz business units.
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