If environmentalism was about protection, sustainability is about survival, and regeneration is about thriving. This is a process of societal transformation and fundamentally, it is our value systems and mindsets that we need to recalibrate to carve a new trajectory away from exploitation and extraction as the core approaches to business and economic growth.
Nothing embodies this concept better than what our HER Planet Earth team experienced as guests of Frédéric and Chris Tardieu, founders of the Sulubaaï Environmental Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to conserving, protecting and restoring the natural resources of Palawan for the benefit of the local population. Indeed, this May, we spent the most magical and eye-opening week with them on their Pangatalan island in the Philippines.
Over the past 12 years, the foundation has completely restored the 4.5-hectare island and made it self-sustainable by planting more than 80,000 trees and turning it into an MPA, or Marine Protected Area. The project has also included a robust mangrove restoration programme, and the creation of SRPs, or Sulu Reef Prosthesis (an artificial, concrete reef systems, which is recognized by UNESCO) to restore corals. SRPs were designed and patented by the Sulubaaï Foundation in 2016 and are used as platforms on which coral fragments are transplanted. From 2017 till today, Sulubaaï has installed over 300 SRP on different coral rubble patches within its marine protected area, and transplanted more than 2,500 coral fragments, belonging to more that 15 genera and 30 hard coral species. The foundation has also set up an organic farm, implemented a waste segregation system and built solar panels - all of which have contributed to making the island carbon negative.
During our visit, our HER Planet Earth team installed three artificial reefs and 30 "fragments of hope" (i.e. corals fragments). The reef is now part of the Sulubaai's Foundation’s Marine Protected Area of 50 hectares. This is a meaningful contribution, as it builds on the work of the foundation to protect the area, which is part of the Coral Triangle (hosting 30% of the world's coral reefs) and is a hot spot of marine biodiversity.
The HER Planet Earth team also met with women from the local communities around Shark Fin Bay of the Sandoval Barangay - consisting of leaders, fisherfolk, teachers, farmers, home makers, students, and mothers - so as to help raise awareness about the importance of protecting our environment. The objective of this open forum was to have constructive discussions and exchanges on how best to protect nature in this region. We also shared our hopes and dreams for our lives, our children’s lives, and our planet’s future.
As a result of our trip, we also learnt that:
Sulubaai highlights the importance of learning to sustain ourselves equitably within the resources and means of the planet upon which we rely on for survival instead of extracting and using resources at a faster rate than Earth can replenish them. The end goal is not “to sustain what we already have”; it should be to evolve our species to move beyond the status quo of destruction and exploitation, to find new ways of meeting everyone’s needs within the means of the planet. It's about respecting, cherishing and living within the natural ecosystem. Once we have established the ability to do that, when we have changed our value system, business practices, cultural conventions, and collective mindsets, then we can give back more than we take — and finally live sustainably on our beautiful planet.
To support and find out more about the Sulubaai Foundation, please visit their website here.
16 March 2019, Singapore
The world’s largest grassroots movement for the environment
returns to Singapore with an electrifying festival of music, food and culture. Earth Hour 2019 will bring together communities for environmental change, by highlighting the impact of individual actions
Organised by one of HER Planet Earth's Charity Partners, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), the three-day festival features nature-themed experiences that highlight the rapid loss of nature and its impact. Through workshops and activities, Earth Hour aims to reach thousands in Singapore to be conscious citizens that make sustainable choices on a daily basis.
The highlight of the festival is a countdown concert on 30 March. Featuring some of Singapore’s biggest local and international acts, the concert will count down to the symbolic Earth Hour lights out that takes place in 180 countries and territories around the globe.
Driving home the sustainability message, Earth Hour will be carbon neutral, zero waste and feature sustainable solutions for large-scale events. These solutions include eliminating disposables, the use of reusable containers and bags, and a physical set up created from recycled wooden pallets that can be dismantled and reused.
Dates: 29 - 31 March 2019 (Fri - Sun)
Time: 5pm - 10pm (Fri), 10am - 10pm (Sat & Sun)
Location: Marina Bay Sands Event Plaza
Tickets: Free admission (excludes workshops and classes)
• Friday, March 29 (5-10pm): An evening of chill and easy vibes featuring local artists, sustainable workshops and more
• Saturday, March 30 (10am-10pm): Kickstart your weekend with our Earth Hour Concert and countdown to lights out at 8.30pm
• Sunday, March 31 (10am-10pm): A day of family-friendly activities for parents and children Earth Hour 2019 is supported by the following partners: Buro, Collective Minds, ES Power, Kiss92 FM, FitSphere, LIDL Singapore, Love Nature, Marina Bay Sands, Samsonite, Sky Premium, Starhub, Takashimaya, The Fashion Pulpit, Wing Tai Retail and XCEL & Triple Eyelid.
About Earth Hour
Earth Hour is WWF's global environmental movement. Born in Sydney in 2007, Earth Hour has grown to become the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment, inspiring individuals, communities, businesses and organizations in more than 180 countries and territories to take tangible climate action for over a decade. More recently, Earth Hour has focused on raising awareness and inspiring conversations on why nature matters. The movement recognizes the role of individuals in creating solutions to the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges and harnesses the collective power of its millions of supporters to build a sustainable future for all.
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. WWF-Singapore helps protect Singapore’s essential needs through the actions of individuals, businesses and governments in the region. To meet key conservation goals, we address issues such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade. wwf.sg