Monday, November 28, 2011

Mangrove Reforestation Project Receives IBM Grant

IBM recently turned over its ‘Community Grant’ to the social development foundation Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) in support of IBM’s environmental sustainability programs operated in the country.

“We are grateful to our member and trusted partner -- IBM and the IBMers who participated in the Blue Mangrove reforestation project.  Awarding PBSP as a recipient and implementer of an IBM Community Grant that would principally benefit the community and the environment of Cebu is just a big bonus,” said Rafael C. Lopa, PBSP Executive Director.

A portion of the USD 1,500 grant will be used to fund actual program costs for the continuation of mangrove conservation and rehabilitation efforts in Cebu. In addition, the grant will also help support the Save the Buhisan Watershed Project, an initiative that aims to rehabilitate the Buhisan Watershed to ensure sustainable water supply for Metro Cebu while improving the lives of the nearby communities and promoting the area as an eco-tourism site.
Earlier this year, IBM partnered with PBSP to hold a reforestation initiative in Olango Island, Cebu, as part of its Centennial Celebration of Service. Over 100 IBMers with local Cebu media and bloggers embarked on the Blue Mangrove reforestation project, starting with a day-long trek to the knee-deep mangroves in Barangay San Vicente, Olango Island, Lapu-lapu City to plant 10,000 mangrove propagules.

The initiative, done in partnership with PBSP Visayas Regional Office, aimed to protect and rehabilitate the threatened ecosystem that serves as breeding grounds for marine life, shelter for migratory birds, and is an integral part of estuarine and marine food chains.

The reforestation effort in time will provide direct and indirect benefits to over 100 fisher folk households, who depend on the mangrove forest for livelihood.
“Being among the founding members of PBSP, IBM has been working with the organization towards our shared goals of making the world work better through sustainable contributions to communities.  As we approach our 75th anniversary in the Philippines in 2012, we will continue to reinforce environmental awareness in the minds of IBMers and carry on our push toward sustainable development for our communities.” said Chestnut Andaya, Country Manager for Marketing, Communications, Corporate Citizenship and Corporate Affairs, IBM Philippines.

The IBM Catalyst Grant is one of three types of grants made available to IBM employees (IBMers) across the world to commemorate the company’s 100-year anniversary. Only 100 Catalyst Grants, each worth USD 10,000 are awarded to IBMers to fund impactful community service projects. IBM Corporation celebrated its centennial celebration last June 16.

To celebrate the centennial anniversary and build on IBM's long tradition of community service, tens of thousands of IBMers around the world are volunteering their time and talent throughout 2011 in support of smarter planet initiatives. These efforts make up a global 'Celebration of Service' (http://www.ibm.com/ibm100/service) in which IBMers get out into their communities and apply their expertise to the most pressing civic challenges and societal needs.

Photo Courtesy of: semiraramining.com

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