The fast disappearing forests and wildlife around the world especially the much sought-after pangolin are now global superstars as people realise, without their presence in our environment could mean another fatal pandemic like Covid-19.

In a world-first, Australian organisation HalfCut joins forces with young women-led Centre for Sustainability PH (CS) based in Palawan to turn the spotlight on saving forests and wildlife on Monday August 31 for the International HalfCut Day in the Philippines.

Why HalfCut?  Because 50% of the world’s forests have all but disappeared, HalfCut has launched an online donations platform with no borders.

“Everyone from all walks of life, young and old, women and men can become active environmental heroes to fundraise to protect our forests, conserve it, and regenerate and defend the remaining forests of Palawan, Australia and beyond.” says CS Co-Executive Director & Co-Founder KM Reyes.

Participants go HalfCut by doing something fun or creative with half their hair and/or beard (shave, dye, braid), post their look on social media, and urge their family, friends, and followers to donate to their cause.

CS is undertaking the HalfCut Challenge on their social media to spread awareness that the Philippines was originally 95% covered in forest, but now only 3% remains.  CS has a Mission to protect the remaining Philippine forests through legal establishment of protected areas, starting in Palawan, the country’s Last Ecological Frontier.

Supporters from the US, Europe, and the Philippines have joined CS on the HalfCut Challenge through their social media.  Supporters are raising money through their personal Facebook and Instagram to fund CS’ Project Protect Palawan which seeks to create a new protected area in southern Palawan, known locally by indigenous Tagbanua communities as Kensad.

CS already successfully spearheaded creation of the Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat in Puerto Princesa City, legally established by the Philippine government in 2017.  It is the Philippines’ biggest critical habitat, 2/3 the National Capital Region.

Photo by Jessie Cereno

On August 31, to celebrate International HalfCut Day, CS is calling on Filipinos across the country to post a HalfCut look on their social media, raise awareness about the decimation of Philippine forests, and urge friends and followers to conserve what is left by donating to Project Protect Palawan.

KM Reyes adds, “The social media reaction and online engagement with our HalfCut Challenge has been incredible!”

“Filipinos here and abroad, and foreigners who’ve visited and fallen in love with the Best Island in the World, have contacted us and immediately jumped onboard to directly fundraise in their own networks to support us in protecting Palawan.”

“HalfCut has proven such an empowering platform—anyone with a cell phone and internet who cares about our disappearing forests in the Philippines can join us frontline conservationists in Palawan to make a concrete and material difference in an instant!”

CS will continue the HalfCut Challenge on their social media, and fundraise on the HalfCut platform for Project Protect Palawan until September 10.

For more information, visit them on social media FB @centreforsustainability and Instagram @centreforsustainabilityph. To donate, go to www.halfcut.org/protectPalawan. (PR)

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