Nat Re employees plant trees to protect Sierra Madre Watershed

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Laguna, Philippines—The National Reinsurance Corporation of the Philippines (Nat Re) partnered with its corporate social responsibility partner FEED, Inc. (Fostering Education & Environment for Development, Inc.) and the University of the Philippines Los Baños in hosting a tree-planting activity for Nat Re’s employees. The activity is part of the reinsurer’s corporate social responsibility program which is focused on promoting environment sustainability and boosting communities’ resilience to disasters.

Nat Re employees pose before their hike to the tree-planting site.

Almost half of Nat Re’s workforce committed to plant three hundred and seventy native Philippine tropical forest trees to enhance the biodiversity, restore lost forest cover, and support community livelihood development in Barangay Magsaysay, Siniloan, Laguna, at the over 9,000-hectare protected Laguna Quezon Land Grant (LQLG).

The activity started with opening remarks from FEED’s Partnerships Director Anne-Marie Mananquil Bakker and Nat Re President/CEO Allan Santos followed by a presentation on the status of Philippine forests by forester and LQLG Field Manager Reynaldo Lorida.

“Land restoration and agro-forestry leadership in action can help stabilize our climate by storing carbon as well as provide critical ecosystems rehabilitation for natural propagators,” Nat Re President/CEO Allan Santos said. “We are also fulfilled to be of support to sustainable community livelihood development for the forest guards and families through this tree-planting activity. They ensure that proper maintenance and monitoring are conducted to achieve the targeted 85%-95% survival rates of the planted seedlings espoused by FEED”.

Nat Re employees first did nursery work on seeds propagation, collection, and bagging at the main nursery area. On top of their pre-committed three hundred and seventy native trees, they bagged an additional fifty-one native species from seeds and organic compost,including Katmon, Bani, Narra and Malaruhat. They then hiked to their tree-planting site, a former abaca research and production area which was recently relocated to the neighboring Laguna Land Grant for further expansion.

Forest guard Larry (center) demonstrates how to properly debag and plant the seedlings.

The employees ended the activity with native binalot lunch prepared by the wives of the forest guards and local community residents, who are also involved in the nursery expansion activities, citronella oil extraction, agro-forestry development, site preparation, and maintenance of all FEED plantings at LQLG.

FEED President and Founder Ophelia Mananquil-Bakker issued a statement after hearing about the continued success of and positive results arising from the FEED and Nat Re partnership: “FEED and its longest Living Legacy partner the University of the Philippines Los Baños are always grateful to collaborate with private sector organizations such as Nat Re – with those who share the same passion, drive, and true stewardship towards generating results with a positive impact on society at large.”

Nat Re President/CEO Allan Santos (right) and Nat Re Head of Human Resources Regina Papa (left) offer their thanks to LQLG Field Manager Reynaldo Lorida (center). 

Nat Re’s cash contribution to FEED included a partial contribution to the FEED scholarship fund in sustainability, which focuses on practical and impactful research in the fields of agriculture, agroforestry, environmental, forestry and natural resources management, and related studies.