How did you celebrate your Earth Day last April 22?
Here’s a good GREEN story to hear…
Coastal Conservation & Education Foundation (CCEF, since 1998), a recognized leader in Coastal Resource Management (CRM), in partnership with TIMEX Philippines, Inc. and in collaboration with the Province of Cebu and the Municipality of Liloan celebrated Earth Day, themed “Earth Day, Every Day, Everywhere!”, by planting 5,000 mangrove propagules along the shores of Sitio Sulima, Barangay Cotcot, Liloan, Cebu. This local mangrove rehabilitation initiative takes on the challenge in their own way to “Mobilize the Earth”, the international theme for this year’s Earth Day. As a Contribution to A Billion Acts of Green, the theme is designed to provide people with the opportunity to unite their voices in a call for a sustainable future.
Mangroves are unique and valuable ecosystems that functionally support a range of wildlife and fisheries, supply a range of commercial products and provide a number of ecological services, especially coastal protection. Aware of the critical importance of such resource, CCEF established the Adopt-a-Mangrove project (since 2009) to help rehabilitate the dwindling mangrove areas within the province of Cebu. This initiative further succeeded in influencing partners from the business sector to improve coastal states by actively promoting conservation-based rehabilitation of mangrove ecosystems in highly degraded areas. Over the years, CCEF’s collaborative attribute has forged partnerships with a number of business sectors through their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs. For the last 3 years, TIMEX has been a reliable partner and good example in bridging business and conservation through the celebration of Earth Day. Relations such as these is the necessary collaborative effort that our coasts need to achieve a positive impact on coastal communities through a more socially responsible pro-environmental behavior that goes beyond just generating and maximizing profits. It is inspiring to see that restoring our mangrove forests is being recognized as worth investing for returns that can be enjoyed from now into the future.
On that Sunny Sunday morning, around 140 people gathered to participate in the 42nd International Earth day Celebration – a Mangrove Planting Culmination activity that brought together Timex employees, CCEF staff, municipal and barangay officials. The well-oriented & very excited volunteers took to the shores as early as 6am. Propagules in hand, the happy planters survived the summer heat and the mud on their feet as they enjoyed every moment they spent out on the field site. The event ended with a signing of a Pledge of Commitment, wherein everyone got to write down a personal promise for Mother Nature. These are a few of the noteworthy hand-written pledges posted by the participants: “Planting is my way of saving our Mother Earth”, “I want to be part of the conservation & protection of marine life”, “Get involved! Plant a tree for life. Let us help out, we owe Mother Nature”. May it be through simple tasks or a lifestyle check and change, ask yourself: “What can I do to make my home a better place to live in?”
TIMEX expressed their utter joy in the festivities while the local government officials nudged on CCEF to create more pro-conservational activities such as these in support of the foundations mission & vision of “Sustainable Coasts and Involved Communities” and the people’s personal environmental advocacy. As CCEF is grateful for the strengthened partnership of TIMEX Philippines, Inc and the support of the provincial & municipal government units, this is a shout-out to everyone out there to pro-actively make a difference for our earth – our home. You could plant, you could recycle, you could conserve water, donate or even partner with us! Point is, you could do so many little things every single day that could save the face of this planet in a really big way. Indeed, “A better future starts from a better nature” and a better nature starts not just from one day of planting a tree, but a lifetime of good & GREEN possibilities that we must act on today.
Anna Helen Yap