Most, if not all, nations are currently going through a rough moment – economically, politically, environmentally, socially, or even all at once. The coronavirus pandemic, which should have been buried in the past by now, is still a crisis that grips the well-being of every nation and its citizens today. It makes its presence dead-set at a time when humanity is urged to band together and combat the ever-growing effects of climate change. Oftentimes, we see the opposite instead; division instead of unity in the face of consequential disasters, and even fermenting even more crises stemming from these divisions. Innocent communities and nations are the unfortunate casualties of the volatile contrast of dogmas established by those in power and influence. We’re in a toxic environment, both literally and figuratively. But somehow… we’re still navigating ourselves out of this endless maze of disorder.

It’s not surprising that some remnants of these global issues would leech into the efforts of those who strive to make a positive difference, however small. As an environmental project aiming to expand its name not just as a brand but as a calling, Save Planet Earth (SPE) has often traversed through the metaphorical quicksand of global crises in its endeavors. In the early months since its establishment, it adhered to the strict rules placed by the nations it visited to combat the coronavirus pandemic. But SPE never broke stride, not even once. The SPE team always had something to work on while on the spot or on the move, and that’s what made it fill out a long checklist of achievements despite being only one year old now.

SPE is still making optimistic progress in its tree-planting operations, even when the nations it is currently active in are going through their own different turmoil. In this case, they’re Sri Lanka and Pakistan – both facing major economic and political hurdles.

Sri Lanka, a country with a population of 22 million, recently defaulted on its $51 billion in foreign debt following an ongoing economic crisis that was spurred by the pandemic crippling its tourism industry and remittance market. As the commodities became either scarce or expensive, the country’s efforts of seeking debt relief from neighboring countries such as China and India were insufficient, receiving credit lines instead. Citizens scrambling for food, healthcare, and fuel voiced out their fury in mass protests, which also brings a political tilt into the nation’s situation.

Pakistan, meanwhile, has just scrambled out of a political madhouse and into political and economic uncertainty. Its Prime Minister Imran Khan was removed from his position through a no-confidence vote in the Parliament – a move that he alleges was influenced by Western coercion. The shift in leadership yanks the country into an already fragile political and economic challenge in the days ahead, with the citizens also venting out their frustration for being placed in a similar situation as their Sri Lankan counterparts.

So, now that the situations in both countries are somewhat summarized, what could SPE possibly do to help?

Despite SPE growing reputation-wise as a movement in tackling environmental crises, one can assume that it can’t do much to impact the administrative structure of a country by itself. That much is true; so it sticks to what it does best – by aiding the nation’s community to develop a sustainable lifestyle that provides an environmental and financial boon to that community.

Currently, SPE is allocating 2, 5, and 6 tree nurseries for the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Pakistan respectively. As of recent, a nursery has already been established in the latter two countries. These nurseries not only play a prominent role in accommodating saplings used for the tree-planting initiatives, but it is also a vital source of training and job opportunities for those who wish to pursue the careers associated with it. By prioritizing the local community’s involvement, it sets an incentive for them to make a living out of this work, even expanding towards neighboring communities in the process. Trees not only present themselves as an ally of carbon sequestration and defenders against potential climate-related disasters, but they’re also a crucial food source, which only amplifies the motivation for the community to take up gardening and agriculture.

SPE, as usual, doesn’t just utilize the traditional formula alone; it also encourages, promotes, and improves any innovative endeavor that harnesses renewable energy sources. The bulk of the population still relies heavily on fuel and gas to power up its homes and vehicles. At a time when those commodities are either hard to obtain or impossible to purchase, it’s worth reminding ourselves that if the situation had somehow stabilized, there is no telling if the next time would have the same outcome. So, if there is any moment to decide on a shift in our living standards it would be now.

In that vein, SPE is partnering with both local and foreign affiliates to provide easy implementation of renewable energy systems in the local household. In addition, it is also providing accessibility for ordinary individuals and parties to determine and find ways of offsetting their carbon footprint. And finally, these partnerships play a mutual role in further improving SPE’s and the respective partners’ portfolios locally and even internationally.

At the end of the day, being an environmental initiative isn’t only about helping the environment alone. It’s about helping anyone and everyone who will eventually become those who shape a better ecosystem in the future. If they’re caught in a perilous situation in the aftermath of a larger economic, political, environmental, or humanitarian crisis, they should receive the aid that they – and everyone in general – rightfully deserve.

Through Turbulent Times – Sri Lanka & Pakistan

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