Deforestation continues to be a threat to the country’s agricultural sector, water security, and biodiversity, further exacerbated by both man-made activities and climate-induced calamities. Around 10 million hectares of forests in the Philippines have been lost due to both natural and man-made factors in the last 100 years. Data shows that as of 2020, 7.226 million hectares or 24.2% of the country’s land area remained forested.
The government is driving progress to revitalize Philippine forests through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) Enhanced National Greening Program and the Climate Change Commission’s (CCC) National Climate Change Action Plan, among others. As a leader in environmental sustainability among the private sector, Nestlé Philippines recognizes the value of multi-sectoral collaboration in pursuing impactful actions that can contribute to the conservation and restoration of forests and natural ecosystems as well as achieving Nestlé’s net zero target by 2050.
In line with this, Nestlé PH formally launched the Kasambuhay Forest in partnership with Million Trees Foundation. The 6.2-hectare land located at the La Mesa Watershed and Ecopark in Quezon City will house 7,500 native trees by the end of 2025, contributing to the conservation of the watershed and carbon sequestration.
Alongside a MOA signing ceremony, Nestlé PH conducted a tree growing activity at the La Mesa Watershed and Ecopark last November 24, 2023 to commemorate this collaboration.
“Project Kasambuhay Forest is part of Nestlé Philippines’ initiatives to support Nestlé’s Global Reforestation Program that has the goal to grow 200 million trees worldwide by 2030. It is also in line with the Company’s push to utilize nature-based solutions in reducing emissions and tackling climate change,” said Senior Vice President and Corporate Affairs Head of Nestlé Philippines Jose Uy III. “Through this, we also want to actively educate employees and business partners on climate change awareness and to mobilize action to contribute to the Company’s sustainability goals.”
“In its unwavering commitment to achieve its goals, Million Trees Foundation has partnered with various organizations that share its vision and objectives. Reforestation requires huge investment not only financial but manpower and technical know-how as well. A new partner like Nestlé PH is always welcome,” said BGen. Reynaldo V. Velasco, former MWSS Chairman and Administrator and the founder of the annual Million Trees Challenge.
A total of 375 Nestlé volunteer employees and partners from the DENR, CCC, and GMA Network planted an estimated 5000 saplings of Narra, Bignay, Bitaog, and Lipote.
GMA Sparkle artist Shuvee Etrata shared the importance of participating in these kinds of activities both as a content creator and as a youth: “I learned that the urgency of climate demands not just attention but also active participation. It’s not just about raising awareness but the palpable sense of responsibility that we are shouldering, especially for us as content creators and Kapuso actors. The youth is not just merely the inheritors of the earth but its stewards.”
In addressing deforestation and other environmental challenges, Nestle PH emphasizes the need to embrace our shared responsibility to the planet even in our own little ways. Through collective action, a lot more can be done to ensure a livable and greener future not just for our children but also for the future generations to come.