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Planting trees in the Philippines to preserve biodiversity
How deforestation can impact farming
Pioneer Hi-Bred, a DuPont business, is a company providing customized solutions for farmers, livestock producers grain and oilseed processors. It runs a seed production plant in the Philippines, located close to the Mt. Makiling Reserve, in the South of Manila. Over the last few decades, the Reserve has suffered from deforestation, and the runoff from soil erosion has started to impact water quality. This in turn has begun to impact the quality of Pioneer Hi-Bred production fields. Therefore local Pioneer Hi-Bred and DuPont Crop Protection teams have started to work with the local government and communities to develop a tree-planting program.
The program aims to directly improve soil and water quality, which in turn impacts seed quality. It also aims to have a major positive impact on the biodiversity of the area, as the Mt. Makiling Reserve is one of the few remaining areas in the country with large areas of intact natural forests and a high diversity of flora and fauna.
Not just financing; direct employee involvement
The tree-planting and nurturing project was intended to encourage employees to actively participate in the preservation and improvement of their ecosystems. The project started in June 2001 in cooperation with the Philippines High School for the Arts, University of the Philippines-Los Baños and the Makiling Center for Mountain Ecosystems.
Ensuring that the seedlings planted would reach maturity was a major goal of this project. Therefore, as well as planting seedlings, DuPont also fertilized the trees planted from the previous years to help ensure the trees’ growth.
DuPont is one of several companies that sustained the project and have made it an annual activity. All its employees participate in this annual environmental, community outreach and improvement program.
Increasing biodiversity to strengthen relations with stakeholders
During its first year, DuPont planted 1,165 seedlings in the allotted 2.51 hectare land in Mt. Makiling. Now in its 10th year, the company’s allotted land has increased to 3.11 hectares with more than 6,000 standing trees.
This project also helped to strengthen the relationships Pioneer, DuPont leaders and employees have with local government officials, the community and business leaders, helping to secure its future license to operate in the region.