HistoryIn 1999, ABS-CBN Foundation, Inc. created Bantay Kalikasan (Nature Watch). Through the years, it has implemented several projects addressing specific, environmental issues at hand.
During the height of the El Nino phenomenon beginning May 1998, it provided food relief for the starving upland communities in Tampacan, South Cotabato through "Butil Para Sa Buhay" (Grain for Life). In exchange for the food, the beneficiaries were asked to help rehabilitate their immediate environment by planting fruit and forest trees and shifting from slash-and-burn activities to more environment-friendly farming practices.
In 1999, Bantay Kalikasan started a reforestation program in the 2,700-hectare La Mesa Watershed Area through its "Save the La Mesa Watershed " campaign. The idea was to get the public involved in saving the watershed by adopting trees.
Bantay Kalikasan Patrol aired in the early 2000s to encourage compliance to environmental laws as it exposed individuals, agencies and companies who abuse the environment. It likewise highlights good practices that promote environmental awareness and conservation. Another project, Bantay Basura promoted awareness and lobbied for an effective solution to the solid waste problem; Bantay Usok aimed to reduce Metro Manila's vehicular smoke emissions to acceptable standards. It initiated the Clean Air Act Signature Campaign and was instrumental in the passage of the Clean Air Act in the country.
Other significant projects of Bantay Kalikasan are the development of the La Mesa Eco-Park, BK Environmental Hotline, Bantay Baterya, Bantay Langis and H2Hope.
Bantay Kalikasan leads the country in efforts to stop mining in Palawan and other key biodiversity areas through a 10 million signature campaign. It also operates the BK Eco Academy which promotes environmental awareness. Today, the thrust of BK is mainly environmental education and one of the main avenues to promote it is through ecotourism. The goal is to implant in the minds and hearts of Filipinos that taking care of the environment is the path to quality of life, that livelihood does not have to come from environmentally destructive practices.