HSBC Philippines headed by bankero Sandeep Uppal has partnered with World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF Philippines) to embark on a Mangrove Ecosystem Program along the Ticao-Burias Pass traversing the provinces of Masbate, Sorsogon, Albay, and Camarines Sur.
The P18 million project aims to rehabilitate 80-100 hectares of mangrove forests with the use of approximately 80,000 seedlings through assisted natural regeneration and enrichment, hence building surrounding communities resilience to the risks and impacts of climate change.
The partnership was solidified recently in line with HSBC Philippines’ Sustainability Week: Net Zero Plan in Action.
“As we observe Earth Day, we take this opportunity to launch our partnership with WWF Philippines on a 4-year Mangrove Ecosystem Management Project in the Bicol Region. This is in line with our commitment to HSBC’s Climate Strategy as we aim to significantly contribute to our organization’s and also to the Philippines’s sustainability goals,” the bankero said.
With more than 60 percent of the Philippine population living in coastal areas, the conservation of mangrove forests is emphasized as a vital measure to protect coastal communities from the impacts of rising sea levels.
When combined with built infrastructure, mangroves provide an effective defense for communities against storms and coastal flooding. Hence mangrove conservation projects have gained interest from the public and private sector as a solution to mitigating the impacts of future typhoons.
For her part, WWF Philippines executive director Katherine Custodio said that the program is set to help mitigate climate change through carbon sequestration as well as engage the community in stewardship of their own resources and increase protection against storm surges, sea level rise, flooding and coastal erosion.
Custodio added that the project also aims to maintain and improve the health of the ecosystem that feeds the ocean, land and people.
The HSBC Philippines – WWF Philippines Mangrove Ecosystem Program is an offshoot of HSBC group’s established collaboration with World Resources Institute (WRI) and WWF Climate Solutions Partnership. It is among the Bank’s notable efforts to locally push the sustainability agenda.
Recently, HSBC Philippines refreshed and updated its headquarters in Bonifacio Global City to accommodate hybrid way of working thereby minimizing office footprint complemented with energy conservation features.
The bank has also started switching its credit and debit cards to recycled PVC plastic with full transition by the first quarter of 2023 and that the same time has been continuously supporting corporate clients through the provision of sustainable finance solutions to fund green projects.