Inspired by China’s Alipay Ant Forest initiative for a greener planet, the Philippines leading mobile wallet, GCash, is introducing a new green feature on the app called GCash Forest, which lets subscribers plant virtual trees that will have real-life counterparts.
The aim is to plant 365 thousand trees in 365 days with the help of GCash subscribers.
According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ Forest Management Bureau (FMB), the Philippines is losing 47,000 hectares of forest cover every year while the rehabilitation of the forest is crucial to prevent landslides, ensure water availability, and preserve biodiversity.
“GCash Forest is about making it easier, more convenient, and even rewarding for everyone to take care of our environment for the benefit of future generations,” said Mynt CEO Anthony Thomas. “GCash is no longer just providing an excellent platform for accessible financial products and services but also enabling Filipinos to be more active in responding to real-life issues, such as climate change mitigation through reforestation.”
To plant trees through GCash Forest, GCash users need to collect “green energy” by frequently using the app. Users who get enough green energy can choose which species of trees they want to plant in a selected area at the Ipo watershed. Once the trees are physically planted, users get to receive a certificate of ownership with a serial number, fun facts and updates on the growth of their trees on their GCash app.
The new feature is inspired by Alipay Ant Forest, a product operated by Ant Financial, an Alibaba affiliate and the parent company of the world’s leading payments and lifestyle platform, Alipay. Via the mobile platform, more than 500 million users have planted 100 million real trees and advanced a shared vision of sustainable and inclusive development.
“The GCash Forest shows digital technology holds a huge power to mobilize people in support of sustainable development and the fight against climate change. And this power goes beyond borders and is at our fingertips through our mobile devices,” said Yan Meng, Ant Financial’s Global Head of International Partnerships. “We’re more than happy to open up our technology and expertise to current and potential partners to make the world a better place.”
Featured photo credit to Alipay