On September 5, 2023, The Amon Foundation Inc. officially sealed its partnership with the ABS-CBN Foundation (AFI), marking their commitment to support environmental initiatives with a long-lasting impact.  

Amon Foundation’s deep interest in fostering scientific endeavors that benefit society perfectly aligns with AFI’s Citizen Science project. It is a distinguished private science and research foundation dedicated to providing financial support to selected students and to funding research projects that promote the well-being of humanity, especially Filipinos. Initial discussions revealed a shared commitment to leveraging science and research to benefit both the environment and local communities. 

Specifically, the Amon Foundation will fund Phase 3 of the Citizen Science Seagrass and Mangrove Monitoring project in Lobo, Batangas – a municipality along the Verde Island Passage. The Verde Island Passage is considered the world’s “center of the center” of marine biodiversity and a critical location for conservation. Phase 3 involves comprehensive training for the communities in data validation, management, and reporting. Building upon the seagrass and mangrove identification training from Phase 1 and tools and technology training in Phase 2, Phase 3 equips participants with the necessary skills to become more independent throughout the data collection process.   

Also included in Phase 3 is the execution of mangrove and seagrass surveys by community members, enabling them to contribute valuable data while validating the skills they learned during training. The Amon Foundation will also fund the development of a digital portal to serve as a centralized hub where communities and other stakeholders can store and access data on reefs, seagrass, and mangrove ecosystems.  

In the photo (from L to R): Margarita Ocampo Recto, Trustee of the Amon Foundation; Andrea Recto Montenegro, Vice President of the Amon Foundation; Bea Pielago, Resource Mobilization Manager of ABS-CBN Foundation; Gianna Montinola, President of The Amon Foundation; Roberta Lopez-Feliciano, Managing Director of ABS-CBN Foundation; Marietta Gonzales, Executive Director of the Amon Foundation; Emmanuelle Nicole Valencia, Corporate Secretary of the Amon Foundation; Joal Ascalon, Program Head of ABS-CBN Foundation Bantay Kalikasan

The Citizen Science project, launched by AFI in 2018, was designed to tackle marine biodiversity issues and build the capabilities of communities to positively engage with the environment and monitor their natural ecosystems. This project connects community volunteers, local government unit staff, and biodiversity experts. Together, they collaborate to collect data on the extent, health, and characteristics of various marine ecosystems and species, including reefs, mangroves, and seagrass. Supported by donors like The Amon Foundation, the data gathered through this project can be used to design activities and influence policies that ensure better protection of the environment.