A Filipino customer experiences Gcash at a digital shop in Manila. (Photo: People’s Daily)
Osaka (People’s Daily) - Inspired by Alipay Ant Forest, the Philippines’ leading mobile wallet Gcash, has announced that it is introducing GCash Forest, a new feature accessible through the GCash app that enables local users to contribute to reforestation and environmental preservation by adopting low carbon activities in their daily lives.
Created with the help of digital technology and expertise provided by Alipay, GCash Forest aims to plant 365 thousand trees in 365 days together with partners, including World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and The Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN), as part of reforestation efforts to protect the local environment, which has been losing 47,000 hectares of forest cover every year according to official data.
GCash Forest’s launch, and the progress made by Alipay Ant Forest so far, demonstrates the potential of digital technologies to engage individual citizens in a bottom-up approach to tackle environmental issues and support sustainable development, complementing top-down initiatives such as the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
“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 Meng Yan, 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.”
Alipay, the world’s leading payments and lifestyle platform, created the Ant Forest green initiative in August 2016 to encourage users to adopt low carbon activities in daily life, and it has worked with strategic partners, including The United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) to promote and accelerate innovation to address environmental challenges globally.
This is the first time such ecological protection innovation has been extended beyond China. World-leading Internet analyst Mary Meeker noted in her recent Internet Trends Report how Alipay Ant Forest, which as of April 2019 had attracted over 500 million users (about 7% of the world’s population) resulting in 100 million trees planted in China’s arid regions, was able to create large-scale participation in philanthropy facilitated by digital technologies.