Amway & ASSIST (Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation) Give Back to the Earth with Amway SEEDS’ Adopt-a-Tree Program

Amway Philippines partnered with the non-profit organization Asia Society for Social Improvement and Sustainable Transformation (ASSIST) to conduct the Adopt-a-Tree Program at the La Mesa Watershed Reservation in Novaliches, Quezon, last August 9, 2023.

The Adopt-A-Tree program is one of the initiatives Amway has co-developed with ASSIST as part of their collaborative project: Amway SEEDS: Sowing Empowerment for Environmental and Social Development Project (or Amway SEEDS, for short). This project between Amway and ASSIST aims to promote and enact environmental stewardship and community empowerment through sustainability and direct engagement with those in need. And with the generous Php3M donation given to Amway Philippines’ CSR projects by an Amway top leader and Founders Crown Ambassador, Mr. Foo Howe Kean, Amway Philippines could turn ventures like these into a reality.

ASSIST, specializing in social development and capacity-building, collaborates with multiple other organizations and companies to create projects and programs that have a scalable and sustainable impact on the Filipino people, which also helps their partner organizations and corporations achieve their development objectives that are aligned with their business strategies. Amway SEEDS project is aligned with Amway’s advocacies and goals to help people live more viable, healthy lifestyles while keeping a clean and sustainable planet.

The tree-planting activity is one of the main avenues for Amway to enact its environmental stewardship by contributing to reforestation efforts in Metro Manila, which fall under the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). As such, Amway set 500 bamboo trees for planting in designated spaces on the 2,659-hectare reservation. They will be nurtured and maintained, along with the rest of the plant life within the watershed, even after the event finishes.

About 60 Amway ABOs and staff volunteered to participate, accompanied by a few fellow volunteers from Green Earth Philippines. ASSIST, being Amway’s partner in the project, provided much of the strategic planning, processes, and logistical (planting tools, gloves, etc.) support for this activity. With the necessary preparations ready, the Amway volunteers set out for the La Mesa Watershed Reservation.

DENR conducted the onsite briefing with careful guidance on the upcoming task, and an in-depth talk on biodiversity before the group went to the designated planting areas within the watershed, armed with the necessary tools. Now, with the knowledge that for every seedling that each of the volunteers placed on the ground, the more help they can provide to the watershed, the native biodiversity in it, and the local communities that depend on it. It is because an increase in trees not only helps in helping local biodiversity flourish and thrive but also keeps the watershed itself healthy and able to provide potable water supply to the nearby dams it provides for (i.e., the La Mesa Dam).

According to the extensions of Mississippi State University and Pennsylvania State University, the effects of increasing trees/reforestation in watersheds include things such as better protection of water quality, increased water storage capacity for the soil, reducing stormwater run-off (which also lessens the risks of flooding in nearby areas), additional soil stability, increased biodiversity, better protection for plants & trees within the watershed (through the presence of more canopies), and much more.

Apart from the already mentioned benefits of reforestation, local communities can benefit from such reforestation efforts such as giving further resources and livelihood to farmers and local communities. Considering the site itself contains the only major watershed and the last remaining rainforest area of its size in the whole of Metro Manila, the La Mesa Watershed Reservation (and all those who depend on it) certainly has benefited from the efforts of Amway volunteers and their partner non-profit organizations.

The Adopt-A-Tree program ended with its target goal achieved and the watershed having gained a bit more of its forest back. And both were made possible by the combined efforts, dedication, and resourcefulness of the Amway volunteers and Amway’s partner organizations.