Aboitiz’s Biodiversity Conservation Programs in the PhilippinesAboitizEyes
The Philippines is recognized as one of the world’s hottest biodiversity hotspots. While we should be a global conservation priority area, our home continues to face significant threats to our hosted flora and fauna.
Despite an increasing call for conservation and sustainability, human activity and urban development are slowly pushing our home to the edge of collapse. This is the very reason why we at Aboitiz Group continue to work on our biodiversity conservation programs in the Philippines.
Why Biodiversity is Important For Development
Us humans do not live alone on this planet. We share a home with countless forms of wildlife and plant life. Our neighbors deserve to thrive, just as much as we do.
And yet, our continuous development has degraded the environment and destroyed several habitats throughout the Philippines. This harms not just animals and plants, but also undermines our people’s livelihoods and creates social instability.
In that context, the need for biodiversity is pivotal for creating a healthy, sustainable, and mutually-beneficial ecosystem for everything living in the Philippines. With the use of biodiversity programs, we hope to promote conservation stewardship in every area we operate in, while also supporting our host community’s livelihood and long-term well-being.
Our Biodiversity Project Goals
Because our businesses directly interact and use the resources our environment provides, we know we have a great responsibility to preserve and protect it.
Through each of our business units, we have initiated several biodiversity programs to help manage our impact on Life on Water (SDG 14) and Life on Land (SDG 15).
To do that, we have come up with a few overarching project goals:
- Perform environmental impact assessments for each of our business projects.
- Manage different flora and fauna species in ecosystems located where we do business.
- Commit to reforestation and conserving biodiversity in forest areas in our host communities.
- Supply water to our host communities without compromising the integrity of our watersheds.
- Strengthen our disaster-risk reduction programs
Our Ongoing Biodiversity Programs
With decades of sustainability practices and initiatives under our belt, Aboitiz Group has had several successful biodiversity conservation programs across our areas of business. We recommit ourselves each year to these programs, and to continuing to spread positive energy to all aspects of life on Earth.
Some of our ongoing programs include:
Aboitiz Cleanergy Park in Davao
Our team at AboitizPower continues to spearhead conservation activities within our Cleanergy Park in Davao.
Here, indigenous fauna species, such as the pawikan, call this place home. Every year, we watch over new clutches of pawikan hatchlings and work to protect their nesting grounds and marine habitat!
We also provide educational programs, as it is important for our children to understand the situation of these animals and other endangered species, and promote awareness and compassion towards wildlife.
The Aboitiz Cleanergy Park is also home to a mangrove forest, where we have planted over 13,000 seedlings. This environment is crucial to the other species that live here, including several native bird species.
Hedcor Environmental Initiatives
Hedcor, the site of our run-of-river hydropower renewable energy systems, is another important contributor to our biodiversity efforts.
Back in 2014, we entered into a wildlife inventory and biodiversity assessment project with UP Mindanao to look into who and what we were sharing our area with, and how to best preserve and support their habitat.
From that project came a five-year biodiversity enhancement action plan, which we used to conduct a series of environmental initiatives around our host communities. True to this plan, we have done several river clean-up drives, where we cleaned up over 1,300 kilos of waste last June.
Reforestation was also included in this action plan — which drove us to plant over 3.15 million trees in our host communities in Luzon and Mindanao. 89% of our planted saplings survived, and helped us regrow our forest habitats!
We also work very closely with community partners and engage in other programs as part of our biodiversity efforts. This includes things such as watershed management, educational workshops and campaigns, training for farmers and fishermen, and more!
Balabag Wetland Park
Our home’s wetlands are a vital spot for both marine life and migratory birds. They also support the people who live around them by giving them opportunities for livelihood and food. They also protect us, as they help mitigate the effects of CO2, typhoons, and heavy rains.
However, our wetlands are disappearing at an alarming rate — over three times faster than our forests — so we knew we had to do what we could to rebuild and preserve our wetlands.
In light of this, we worked closely with several government units, including DENR Region VI the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) in Boracay to rehabilitate a wetland area that we call Balabag Wetland Park.
This linear urban park features a low-impact eco-friendly design, with landscaped walkways, clean lagoons, and more to entice visitors to enjoy the natural beauty and diversity of the wetlands. Here, educational programs will help promote awareness of the importance of this area, while community initiatives will encourage locals and visitors alike to help out through clean-up drives, regular maintenance, and protection programs.
Back in 2019, we joined in the battle for Manila Bay rehabilitation, in partnership with DENR, LGUs, and other stakeholders in a program we dubbed “#WOWSanJuanRiver.”
This biodiversity program mainly focuses on tackling the waste management system of Manila bay. We hope to improve the quality of water through recycling systems and reducing waste production in the area.
To achieve this, we will help establish more effective waste services in the communities that call the bank of Manila bays their home. Not only will this help lessen the amount of silt and garbage that makes its way to our creeks, but also help reduce the risk of water-borne illnesses that these communities are vulnerable to.
We also hope that, by funding proper education and awareness programs, we can encourage our communities to be more sensitive to the health of Manila bay, and instill a similar sense of responsibility to protect it.
While this is no exhaustive list of our biodiversity conservation programs in the Philippines, we hope that this shed some light on how we dedicate ourselves to providing sustainable solutions for protecting our home.
Through continued smart management and our #OneAboitizSustainability framework, we hope that the effects of our programs can help preserve our home and our local flora and fauna for generations to come. Click here to read more about our environmental initiatives!