Located in the north-eastern part of the metropolis, the 2,659 ha La Mesa Watershed Reservation is a protected area that contains the last remaining rainforest of its size surrounding the La Mesa Dam and Reservoir, the primary source of potable drinking water for 12 million residents in Metro Manila. The area comprises a variety of ecosystems that is home to many indigenous and endemic species of flora and fauna.
Nearly 40 SMEC staff and their families took a day off their weekend to participate in the planting of 320 seedlings of bignay (a fruit-bearing tree that is native to Southeast Asia and northern Australia) and dao (a tropical canopy tree native to tropical Asia) in an area designated by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The government agency, along with the Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS), manages the La Mesa Watershed Reservation.
“Tree planting is an effective tool to combat the climate crisis and restore biodiversity. Aside from the fact that trees have the ability to capture carbon and draw down emissions from the atmosphere, trees planted in strategic areas like the La Mesa Watershed Reservation also protect Metro Manila and nearby provinces from severe flooding,” said Ricardo Yuzon Jr, SMEC Country Manager Philippines.
The initiative, which was supported by SMEC’s Southeast Asia & Pacific CSR Committee, also kicked off a long-term engagement with DENR-National Capital Region for an adoption program wherein SMEC will monitor and take care of the planted seedlings and planting site for three years. This partnership is envisioned to bring continuity to the project and increase the level of commitment of our people to taking care of the environment.