Just when I thought business giants don’t care for much but their own gain and benefits, comes GCash Forest. The depletion of our environment is inevitable at the rate we are going, So when leading mobile wallet, GCash, champions its cause of planting no less than 365,000 trees in 365 days, I’m all ears.
What we can do from our end to contribute to environmental preservation is download GCash Forest on our smartphones and plant virtual trees that is designed to have physical counterparts. Sweet! The goal is by the end of 365 days, GCash Forest will have planted a total of 365,000 trees, with the partnership of GCash subscribers.
Fact Sheet from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Forest Management Bureau (FMB)
- The Philippines is losing 47,000 hectares of forest cover every single year.
- FMB reports the need to rehabilitate 1.2 million hectares of forest lands by 2022 to prevent landslides, ensure water availability, and preserve biodiversity.
Host Will Devaughn, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines Advocate and host Karen Ibasco, Mynt President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Thomas, WWF Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Palma, United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative to the Philippines Titon Mitra.
“GCash Forest is about making it easier, more convenient, and even rewarding for everyone to take care of our environment for the benefit of future generations,” said Mynt CEO Anthony Thomas. ”GCash is no longer just providing an excellent platform for accessible financial products and services but also enabling Filipinos to be more active in responding to real-life issues, such as climate change mitigation through reforestation.”
Mynt Chief Marketing Officer and Head of Marketing and App Product Chris Manguera, World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Joel Palma, Mynt President and Chief Executive Officer Anthony Thomas, United Nations Development Programme Resident Representative to the Philippines Titon Mitra, and GCash Vice President for Corporate Communications Reyner Villaseñor
Given that this is a tree-planting initiative, it only made sense for GCash Forest to partner with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN).
- The DENR will provide land resources in lpo Watershed, an essential component of the Angat-Umiray-Ipo watersheds system supplying 98 percent of Metro Manila’s water.
- WWF will be providing trees and manpower
- BIOFIN will provide expertise on monitoring.
Mr. Thomas also mentioned that the recent findings on the Philippines’ vulnerability to climate-related hazards call for greater collective action. Results of the Global Peace Index 2019 identified the Philippines as the most susceptible country to the adverse effects of climate change. By leveraging the GCash platform and scale, GCash Forest aims to rally a coalition of individuals, non-government organizations, and international organizations to meet its 2020 targets.
As GCash users, we collect “green energy” through GCash Forest, by using the app. Users who get enough green energy can choose the kind of trees they want to plant in a selected area at the lpo watershed. What’s exciting is that when your tree is physically planted, you get to have a tree with your name on it. Specifically, through a certificate of ownership with a serial number, and you get updated on the growth of the tree/s you have “planted.”
”Many Filipinos, especially the younger ones, care about the environment but a lot of them don’t know how they can actively take part in environmental protection. This is a barrier that GCash Forest addresses because they only need to use their smartphones-an already integral part of their daily lives-to make a difference,” concluded Thomas.
The new feature was inspired by Alipay Ant Forest, a product operates by Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate n e parent company of the world’s leading payments and lifestyle platform, Alipay. It is through which that more than 500 million users have planted 100 million real trees and advanced a shared vision of sustainable and inclusive development.
“The GCash Forest shows digital technology holds a huge power to mobilize people in support of sustainable development and the fight against climate change. And this power goes beyond border and is at our fingertips through our mobile devices,” said Yan Meng, Ant Financial’s Global Head of International Partnerships. “We’re more than happy to open up our technology and expertise to current and potential partners to make the world a better place.”
As a heavy GCash user myself, I am more than thrilled to be able to take active part in the preservation of the environment, even as virtual as using GCash Forest app as it may seem. Kudos to GCash for spearheading this movement. Here’s hoping that other business giants will follow suit, and take part in preserving the one and only earth that we can pass down to the following generations.
For more info on GCash Forest, follow GCash on Facebook.