Over the last couple of years, the Philippines has been experiencing an alarming decrease in forest area. Due to rampant illegal logging and the lack of funds to better secure protected areas, the countries forests are going nude.
Each year, based on data from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), around 47,000 hectares of forest cover is lost, which is equivalent to approximately 1.2 million hectares of deforested land in a hundred years. This translates to about 24 percent in deforestation rate, one of the fastest in the world.
These figures may sound too statistical, but they are a constant and stark reminder for Filipinos of the state of Philippine forests. This is also a wakeup call for everyone that while the government pursues efforts to create a greener country, a great amount of work is still up ahead, according to the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF).
“Without strategic measures to combat this, Philippine forests will cease to exist in the next two decades — leaving the next generation without clean air to breath, fresh and lush sceneries to enjoy, and endemic flora and fauna will only exist in picture books,” WWF Philippines President and CEO Joel Palma said.
The severity of the situation calls for a pursuit of collaboration among all stakeholders — the state, organizations, companies, and even the common Filipino. For many, participating in drives for the environment may seem to measly an idea due to the gravity of work to be done, but even the slightest act can create a chain of events that could help the country bring its forests back to full life.
“We need to act now, and we need to act fast. We are at a critical time that loudly calls for action and the participation of everyone. Our fight for a greener Philippines is not won by one group alone. It needs to be a collaborative effort,” Palma added.
GCash, operated by Globe Fintech Innovations Inc. (Mynt), recognizes the power of its platform to create a huge impact for the environment. Placing itself at the forefront of developing financial sustainability mechanisms that aim to strengthen forest conservation efforts within its growing user base of 20 million, GCash recently introduced GCash for Good.
Acting as its corporate social responsibility arm, GCash for Good has collaborated with World Wildlife Fund for Nature, Forest Foundation Philippines, Bantay Kalikasan, as well as Haribon Foundation to pursue their shared vision of establishing a greener Philippines.
“Through these collaborations with non-government organizations, international organizations, and various merchants, we look forward to fulfilling our vision of greening the Philippines through our platform, as this initiative shall create a significant impact not only to the environment but also in the daily lives of each Filipino,” Mynt President Anthony Thomas said.
With GCash for Good, Filipinos from all walks of life, especially the youth sector, now have the power to create a positive change for the environment and stay socially relevant. Through GCash for Good, GCash has made it possible for registered GCash users to conveniently send donations to their chosen organization.
The platform enables Filipinos to reach out further while also creating better opportunities for the society, as it eliminates the hassle of having to endure long processes of donating through banks and institutions and allows people to focus more on what truly matters to them.
Various research has shown that there is a growing trend in crowdfunding as well as micro-donations. Such kind of initiative, while it may generate a minimal amount at a given period, would still go a long way and make a significant impact once it gets added up.
“For every person who would like to make a difference, it’s also important to recognize that working together, aiming for the common goal hand-in-hand, can result in an even greater impact. With GCash for Good, doing something for a cause becomes accessible and easier for all Filipinos,” Thomas said.
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