In March 2018, I received an invitation to collaborate with Forest Foundation Philippines, a non-profit organization that provides grants that empower the people to protect the forests. We put our minds together and discussed how we could combine our respective skills and resources in order to promote the importance of Philippine native trees in ecological restoration. Native trees are the foundation of our ecosystem but we are losing them to deforestation at an alarming rate. By raising awareness, our collaborative goal is to grow more forest advocates.
This gave birth to #DrawNativeTreesPh, an awareness campaign to engage the public to become advocates of forest conservation and protection through art.
On its 3rd year (as of this writing: November 16, 2021), the #DrawNativeTreePh initiative has brought about fun and meaningful projects –
* Watercolor Workshops
Post-workshop update: Forest Foundation Ph on Facebook (July 16, 2019)
Post-workshop update: Forest Foundation Ph on Facebook (August 13, 2020
* ForestBloomsPh Instagram Story Stickers
View this post on Instagram
* The Philippine Forest Informational Series which includes stationery and functional items which I sell in my online shop. A portion of proceeds go to the creation of more items that can support the advocacy, so the product line just keeps on growing and growing — all from the initial funding capital provided by FFP.
** Philippine Forest Fruits (#ForestFruitsPh) and Birds (#ForestBirdsPh)
Links to #ForestFruitsPh Postcard Set / ForestPh Series Notebooks
** Philippine Forest Reflections (#ForestReflectionsPh)
More info on the #ForestReflectionsPh Nature Appreciation Journal
** Philippine Forest Landscapes (#ForestLandscapesPh)
More info on the #ForestLandscapesPh Advocacy Products
** Creative Fundraising Efforts
One of the most amazing outcomes of this campaign is that some of the projects have allowed me to give back and contribute to forest protection efforts such as fund raising for forest rangers and typhoon / flood victims:
– P19,250 raised in June 2020 for the Ipo Watershed Bantay Gubat (donated thru WWF Philippines) via sales of #ForestBirdsPh prints
– P75,000 raised in November 2020 for Typhoon Ulysses flood victims (donated thru Kaya Natin Ph) via sales of #ForestFruitsPh prints
– P25,000 raised in May 2021 for the Ipo Watershed Bantay Gubat (donated thru Philippine Parks & Biodiversity) via 50% of sales of #ForestBloomsPh Jewelry
– P4.500 raised in September 2021 and P3,780 raised in February 2022 for the Ipo Watershed Bantay Gubat (donated thru Philippine Parks & Biodiversity) via 10% of sales of the #ForestProducePh Market Tote
– P41,470 raised (P25,400 transmitted in July 2022 (P6,350 per donee) and P16,070 transmitted in February 2023 (P4,017.50 per donee) for Sitio Maguli Marginal Farmers Producers Cooperative in Sierra Madre, Kitanglad Guard Volunteers Association Inc. (KGVAI) in Bukidnon, Palawan Center for Appropriate Rural Technology, Inc. (PCART) in Palawan, and Women Enablers Advocates and Volunteers for Empowering and Responsive Solutions Inc. (WEAVERS) in Leyte via 40% of sales of #ForestLandscapesPh notebooks and 20% of sales of #ForestBloomsPh enamel pins.
– P759 raised in April 2023 from 10% of sales of the Philippine Native Trees tote bag for the Philippine Native Tree Enthusiasts (PNTE) Community.
I have gained so many learnings from working on this campaign, and it’s especially rewarding to receive feedback from people who say that they discovered the beauty of Philippine native trees through the work. The ideas really do keep.sprouting organically and I’m excited to see what else it will produce in many years to come. <3
* My presentation in Forest Foundation Philippines’ Understory April 23 Webinar gives an overview of the campaign and a behind the scenes look on its implementation (video embedded below).
** Media Features
– Design: Keeping Filipino Native Trees Alive Through Art – The Beautiful Works of Cynthia Arre for the FFP | Adobo Magazine
– Forget cherry blossoms. Stop and draw our own flowering trees. | NoliSoli
– Her Groundwork for the Native Flora and Fauna | Business Mirror
– Arts for Conservation Episode | MUNI on this Podcast
– Promoting Forest Conservation and Heritage Preservation Through Art | DZUP Atin ‘To Interview
– Drawing Native Trees for Conservation – Presentation + Demo | Ang InK
Sending out a great big thanks to the FFP Project Management Team who’ve inspired, guided, and encouraged me to pursue this purposeful path. <3
– Schenley Anne Belmonte
– Diane Estephanie Bagui
– Bryan Joel Mariano
– Ana Veronica Gabriel
– Marjorie Pamplona
– Eric Buduan
– Dennis Rosales
– Heidi Mendoza
– Atty. Jose Andres Canivel