Our partner Urth, represented by its Support Manager Isaac Gray, along with our team, visited Paraiso Mangrove Eco-Learning Park Marine and Wildlife Sanctuary in Tacloban to learn about the importance of mangroves and to assist in planting. This activity marks the first time a client, in their travels to the Philippines, has personally joined an impact project.
The role of mangroves in disaster resilience
Tacloban, where Boldr’s offices are located, is a coastal town prone to destructive typhoon activity. Because of this, it is in need of lusher coastlines, which act as forested barriers when tropical cyclones travel across the island chain. In November 2013, Typhoon Haiyan, one of the most powerful tropical cyclones ever recorded, made landfall in Tacloban, claiming the lives of more than six thousand Filipinos. From an ecosystem perspective, Typhoon Haiyan showed the very real impact of climate change and the importance of mangroves as a natural disaster prevention mechanism, lessening the blow to vulnerable areas.
According to a World Bank study, mangroves have proven to reduce flooding to 613,000 people annually, while averting more than US $1 billion in damages. As a result, the Conservation International Philippines Foundation, along with relevant government stakeholders, has created a roadmap with ambitious goals of increasing mangrove-protected areas in the Philippines by 20% in 2030.
Bolstering disaster resilience in Tacloban through reforestation
Urth, a company that creates thoughtfully designed photography and carry gear, believes in the power of trees to sequester carbon, control erosion, and create habitats. In 2022 alone, they planted 1.3 million mangroves in Morangobe, Madagascar. This mission has been pivotal in achieving B Corp certification in February this year.
Urth demonstrates its commitment to creating exponential impact by utilizing low-impact materials for its equipment while supporting reforestation and tree-planting efforts in deforested communities for every product purchased. To date, Urth has planted upwards of 7,249,840 trees spread across Madagascar, Nepal, Haiti, Mozambique, and Indonesia.
Urth’s passion for positive impact through reforestation and Boldr’s interest in helping the Tacloban community sparked an organic synergy that resulted in a great impact initiative.
On August 31, twelve Boldr team members volunteered to participate in the activity with Urth. After reaching the San Jose district, a paddle-powered raft took us to the Sanctuary. The Sanctuary covers six hectares of the much larger Cancabato Bay, a protected mariculture park that thrives with fish, crabs, and prawns, among others.
Our Kuya guides took us on a tour of their nursery and shared stories about the Sanctuary’s history and its future. Finally, we were led off the covered path and to the shoreline, where we got to work. The Kuyas dug holes and did a quick show-and-tell of how to unwrap the seedlings and how to use bamboo sticks to stabilize them in the ground. Each of us planted two mangroves, and the rest of the mangroves would be planted by Sanctuary staff.
Client partnerships that create both business and social impact
Urth started working with Boldr in 2020 and has since continued to be one of our mission-aligned clients. As Boldr continues to be a key part of Urth’s growth and evolution into achieving B Corp certification, this partnership serves as an example of both how business and social missions can be mutually supportive.
The mangrove activity was supported by proceeds from Boldr’s Build-A-Habit challenge in June. Boldr recognized our team members’ commitment to bettering themselves by matching habits milestones with a donation that raised over 460 USD for the Philippines
Urth, on the other hand, compounds its impact by planting 5 trees in deforested regions globally every time a product is sold, illustrating how our values are aligned with that of our client’s values. Further to this, the activity also revealed the compelling impact of how small things can be compounded to create something bigger.
Opportunities to work with clients always excite us. We’re honored to hear from Isaac that the mangrove activity was the highlight of his trip, along with meeting Urth’s team in the Philippines. We’re hopeful that this project signals the beginning of more future collaborations with clients.