The forest cover in the Philippines declined from 21 million hectares, or 70%, to barely 5 million hectares or only about 20% of the country’s original forest cover, making the Philippines the only country in Southeast Asia with the thinnest forest cover, according to research studies of DENR and universities.
De-forestation weakens the soil, making it unprepared to face the strong calamities that have increased with the climate change. The increase of occurrences of landslides, and the risk of drought and poor availability of water are aggravated by the loss of forest cover. This degraded state of the country’s environment and natural resources affects the poor, especially those living in rural communities who depend on these resources as primary source of living.
Almost two-thirds of the Philippine’s population depend on natural resources to sustain its basic needs and livelihoods. Every time there is a natural calamity, the micro-entrepreneurs are the hardest hit and if not prepared are normally wiped out within few hours of onslaught of natural and man-made calamity.
A healthy environment is pre-requisite to achieving a good quality life for everyone. Thus, one of the programs of APPEND is to plant and maintain fruit trees nationwide. Fruit trees are sources of food and livelihood to the people in communities nationwide.
A healthy forest not only contributes to clean air, but also protects watersheds. It ensures good supply of water for irrigation of agricultural areas and domestic requirements. More importantly, the forest contribution in terms of carbon capture is perhaps the biggest unaccounted benefit of planting trees. Planting trees or reforestation is very important with the occurrence of El Niño, as trees help increase carbon-sequestration capacity and fight climate change.
The planting and growing of trees, including community organizing and training of the local people in environment care and stewardship amount to US$5/tree per year.
More than 26 million Filipinos remain poor with almost half or a little more than 12 million living in extreme poverty and lacking the means to feed themselves.
APPEND Incorporated or the Alliance of Philippine Partners in Enterprise Development Inc., commits to help eradicate poverty in the Philippines and to promote national transformation by contributing to the growth and development of God-fearing, socially-responsible micro- and small entrepreneurs.
The micro-entrepreneurs serve as the backbone of the Philippine economy especially when their number is large enough to impact the scale of small and medium enterprises (MSMEs). MSMEs contribute to almost 61.6% of the total jobs generated by all types of business establishments. This shows that this sector is the largest source of income for disadvantaged communities. Thus, for the past 27 years, APPEND has been serving the poor micro-entrepreneurs with capital to start or expand their family businesses or micro-enterprises, provide business development & marketing services, savings facilities, educational assistance, water, health and sanitation (WASH) program , financial literacy and micro-insurance, values formation, leadership training, and environment care programs.
APPEND is a non-stock, non-profit, charitable, educational, social welfare development and civic service corporation under the laws of the Republic of the Philippines. From a reach of 30,000 micro- entrepreneurs, APPEND has helped more than 5 million poor people — assisting them attain better lives and escape poverty, by creating opportunities for them to use their God-given abilities to make wealth.