Volunteers Clean-up Lian, Batangas Beach

October 29, 2016 Voluntourism

Some of our beaches have serious trash problems.

One afternoon of trash collection by 30 divers in Lian, Batangas already generated over 2,700 pieces of garbage from the reef and on the beach, which composed of several odd items such as plastic wrappers, plastic bags, plastic utensils, assorted wrappers, glass bottles, bottle caps, lighters, socks, diapers and batteries.

Divers on their way to the reef clean-up
Pretty soon, we’ll run out of pristine beaches to gush about and photograph.

According to Ms. Maan Hontiveros, Philippines AirAsia Chairperson, who led the beach and reef clean-up, Lian is plagued with massive problems with regards to trash.

AirAsia divers and staff pose after the 3-day beach and reef cleanup drive in Batangas

Volunteer divers including celebrity music icon Jim Paredes joined the AirAsia beach and reef clean up drive in Lian, Batangas from 2-4 September 2016.
“A lot of the boats that ply interisland illegally dump some of their garbage and because of the water current those dirts get here, and there’s an unfinished golf course over in Nasugbu that has silted our reefs here and this is a very old reef system.”

Ms. Hontiveros led the activity, which is under AirAsia’s #green24 campaign, and she was joined by 30 divers from Reef Check Philippines, International Coastal Clean-up Philippines, and volunteer staff of AirAsia group from Malaysia, Indonesia and Philippines.

“We went to this small village here in Matuod in Lian, Batangas as part of our clean-up drive. This is a village of fisherfolks who have been protecting their mangroves and reefs that we just saw during dive and that they are intact and as a result they have the best reef in Lian.” 

“…this is a very old reef system, very important with high biodiversity, an important site, that’s why DLSU has a marine station here and this is laboratory for marine scientists – they study our coral reefs, our marine life, our ecosystem and it’s a very valuable area that we have to protect.”

Lian, Batangas
The trash has been sorted and reported to local marine scientist group including local chief executive to help educate the community and empower them to take an active part in protecting their environment. The team is also planning to conduct similar engagements and activities in other parts of the country.

Some 2,700 assorted trash were collected from the reef and beach of Batangas during the 3-day #Green24 campaign of AirAsia in partnership with Reef Check Philippines and International Coastal Clean-up Philippines. 
AirAsia’s #Green24 campaign started in Pattaya, Thailand with over 200 participants and AirAsia staff taking part in the activity last January.

What is #Green24?

#Green24 campaign is a climate awareness movement to educate and promote climate action. This is an initiative by AirAsia as part of its effort to generate awareness on climate change and sustainability.

The campaign was formally launched in January 29, 2016 when as  part of AirAsia’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives, the airline group simultaneously conducted a 24-hour climate awareness movement to educate and promote climate action in Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, Cambodia, China, South Korea, Hong Kong, Macau, Nepal, Sri Lanka and the Philippines.

To kick-off the #Green24  campaign, the AirAsia Group replaced their iconic red logo in their social media pages for 24 hours in January 29 into a vibrant green. The airline also released a special invitation video by Group CEO, Tony Fernandes inviting the public to be proactive in protecting the environment and the earth.

In the video, which is available for viewing on AirAsia’s YouTube Channel and also posted in https://www.facebook.com/AirAsiaPhilippines/, Tony Fernandes said, “On our side of the world, not many people know about the issues that climate change poses, and we feel that the best thing for us to do is to inform people. Many of us don’t really see the problems coming, but at AirAsia we have seen the effects of climate change such as Typhoon Haiyan that struck Tacloban in the Philippines, the floods that happened around the region and massive climatic changes over the past two to three years.”

“We always look after our own mothers, and we always put our mothers first in many things. But now, it’s time we put Mother Earth first as well. It’s time we let the world know that we need to take better care of the planet we live in,” Tony Fernandes further emphasized.

Among the activities of #GREEN24  that will be carried out from 29th to 30th January 2016 throughout all the countries which the AirAsia Group serves are recycling drive, forest and beach clean-ups and climate change awareness engagements in Malaysia and Thailand, reusable bags were distributed for free in leading malls and in select AirAsia flights in Indonesia to discourage the use of plastics, information awareness about climate change are conducted in different venues in Myanmar and Cambodia while AirAsia offices in Singapore, China, Hongkong, Korea and Macau led the sorting of recyclable papers, segregating garbage and collecting old batteries and used clothes.

Doing our share

But, no matter how many clean-ups are organized, the beauty of our beaches and reefs will still be marred by trash if we remain careless. There are simple solutions. Say no to plastic straws. Avoid buying water bottles and always bring your own.  When there are options aside from disposables, choose that.  And, yes, help in the clean-ups.

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