According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Forest Management Bureau (FMB), the Philippines is losing 47,000 hectares of forest cover every year. The FMB also reported the need to rehabilitate 1.2 million hectares of forest lands by 2022 to prevent landslides, ensure water availability, and preserve biodiversity. These are alarming numbers and many want to help, but there are those who don’t have the time or don’t know how. Now, there’s an option to plant trees without having to go out to actually plant one. All you need is an app.
Gcash launched GCash Forest, which lets subscribers plant virtual trees that will have real-life counterparts. By the end of 365 days, GCash Forest aims to plant 365,000 trees with the help of GCash subscribers.
It’s easy to do. All you need to do is collect “green energy” by frequently using the app. And it’s easy because GCash offers so many financial services, like paying for products and services, bills, transferring money, saving, and even getting a loan. Users who get enough green energy can choose which species of tree they want to plant in a selected area at the Ipo watershed.
The new feature is inspired by Alipay Ant Forest, a product operates by Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate and the parent company of the world’s leading payments and lifestyle platform, Alipay. Via the mobile platform, more than 500 million users have planted 100 million real trees and advanced a shared vision of sustainable and inclusive development.
To implement this green initiative, GCash Forest partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), World Wildlife Fund (WWF)m and the Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN). The DENR will provide land resources in Ipo Watershed, an essential component of the Angat-Umiray-Ipo watersheds system supplying 98% of Metro Manila’s water. WWF will be providing trees and manpower while BIOFIN will provide expertise on monitoring.