BALABAC, Palawan—Epson Philippines’ partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines for marine ecosystem restoration has officially kickstarted with a ceremonial launch in Balabac, Palawan.
Supported by project stakeholders such as the European Union delegation to the Philippines and local government officials, the project launch highlights the importance of rehabilitating mangrove sites, recognizing their critical role in marine biodiversity and protecting coasts from erosion and storm surges.
Epson, which has previously supported the development of WWF-Philippines’ virtual museum Museo Kalikasan, is now supporting the Mangrove Restoration Project in the municipalities of Balabac and Bataraza, Southern Palawan.
As part of the wider European Union-funded Ocean Governance Project—an initiative focused on strengthening habitat resilience through restoration in the Sulu Sulawesi Seascape that covers the Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia—the joint mission in Palawan aims to boost local capacity in taking care of the mangroves, as well as address other critical issues such as plastic waste management.
With Epson as a key partner, the Mangrove Restoration Project was able to expand beyond Balabac and into the neighboring municipality of Bataraza.
In addition, the growing relationship between Epson Philippines and WWF-Philippines only further drives Epson Philippines’ commitment to support sustainable innovations and initiatives to solve the world’s greatest challenges.
“Corporations have a shared responsibility in sustainable development,” said Eduardo Bonoan, Epson Philippines’ General Manager for Marketing Division, who shared his remarks virtually during the project launch.
“As Epson continues its commitment to sustainable innovation and environmental responsibility, we believe in forming critical partnerships with organizations that are aligned with our values—such as WWF-Philippines.”
To further the goals of the Mangrove Restoration Project, WWF-Philippines will continue to work with local government and key stakeholders such as Epson Philippines to establish a ‘Community Learning and Innovation Hub’ that aims to bridge knowledge gaps and strengthen coastal communities’ experience in resource management, thereby helping to build local capacity.
“It is important that we continue to protect and manage Balabac’s valued mangrove forests to boost our efforts in keeping a healthy environment and supporting local livelihoods,” said Balabac Mayor Shuiab J. Astami, who officially launched the project in Balabac Island.
“We are excited to be part of this multi-stakeholder effort that will restore critical mangroves in Balabac, Palawan and improve the way their coastal resources are managed for the long haul. We strongly hope that this project will succeed and serve as an example for many other communities,” said Executive Director of WWF-Philippines, Katherine Custodio.
Moving forward, Epson aims to continue setting a more sustainable example for corporations across the region.
“Working alongside governments, local champions and conservation organizations, we are proud to be part of this public-private partnership that is aligned with our renewed Epson 25 Corporate Vision—which aims to enrich communities and help realize a sustainable society,” concludes Bonoan. ”We hope that this opens up a path for more sustainable partnerships in the future.”