The Forest Foundation Philippines calls on millennials and social entrepreneurs to engage in forest conservation.
Formerly known as the Philippine Tropical Forest Conservation Foundation, FFP breaks away from its traditional method of finding new solutions on protecting the forests and will now start accepting innovative ideas and solutions proposed by millennials and social entrepreneurs.
FFP decided to change its name into something that resonates with the millennials whom they hope to encourage and be the champions of forest conservation.
FFP executive director Jose Andres Canivel acknowledges the importance of millennials today. “We believe that the millennials now are becoming more important not because they will be living in the world [where] we leave them but rather they are important [in] deciding the path of society and the world that we have now,” he says.
The organization also launched its 2017-2021 plan of action that aims to continuously empower people in communities across the Philippines and as a part of the program plan, a pitch fest is set to hold on July 22.
The Forest Fest PH is a one-day gathering of enterprising thought leaders to craft targeted and innovative solutions aimed at helping protect the forests in the country. The event also invite leaders from various industries and sectors who will mentor the participants.
The concept of finding new innovations and solutions is in line with FFPs main thrust—to make social entrepreneurship progressive by protecting Philippine forests.
“We want to empower individuals as they understand the everyday life decisions [that] can help advance and nurture our forests,” Canivel said.
Social entrepreneurs, advocacy groups, and other related individuals who have the passion and desire to protect the forests will be given an opportunity to present their innovative ideas before a panel of judges. The winning participant to come up with a good forest protection idea will take home P 450,000 as grant prize.
Besides the usual type of businesses for the pitchfest, FFP chairman Antonio La Viña says there is room for social enterprises that work with indigenous people.
La Viña says social entrepreneurship can serve as a platform to empower enterprising individuals and groups to jumpstart sustainable and business solutions.
“Why [do] social enterprises matter? Simple, they create awareness, change attitudes, change patterns of behavior and consumption and developing way technology solutions that appeal towards segment of the population,” he says.
“In this way, we hope to be able to push our goal of helping improve the quality of life of Filipinos in an economically, ecologically and socially sustainable manner,” says La Viña.
US Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim cites the role of the United States as an advocate of environmental conservation.
He says the US government has been working with the Philippine government to supervise FFP. “Together with partners like the Philippines, we carry the responsibility to lead the global advocacy to make the environment our number one priority,”Kim says.
FFP was established in 2005 under the bilateral agreements of the US and the Philippines under the Tropical Forest Conservation Act.