EDC preserves threatened native trees in Negros Island

By Jennifer Catan-Tilos

NEGROS ORIENTAL (PIA) – Energy Development Corporation (EDC) reported that through its cloning facility, it produced more than 30,000 native tree species in Negros Island.

Corporate Communications Officer Frances Ariola of EDC said almost 2,000 of native trees were planted in its 25 partner schools in Negros Island.

Two Yakal-saplungan trees that were planted in RM Araneta Elementary School in Mailum, Bago City, Negros Occidental in 2009 have already produced seeds in 2014 and 2015.

Ariola said EDC has used science and relied heavily on healthy watersheds in its geothermal reservations not only to protect the environment but also to sustain its geothermal source.

In Negros Island alone, the company has already planted 1.5 million trees on 2,300 hectares from 1983 to 2008.

In 2009, EDC stepped up its reforestation efforts through its BINHI greening legacy and made use of science to focus on planting at least 10,000 hectares of premium native tree species in 10 years.

From 2009-2015, EDC was able to plant close to two million trees on 2,700 hectares in different areas of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental under its BINHI program.

This was done with the help of its farmers’ associations that all share the same passion for environmental preservation.

Through BINHI, EDC is able to create more carbon sinks for climate change mitigation.

This further lowers the company’s CO2 emissions and helps the country get closer to its target of reducing its CO2 emissions by 70% in 2030.

“Our country is one of the most vulnerable to the impacts of climate change.  We all need to work together to save our planet.  Greening Negros Island by growing native trees and getting more power from geothermal energy is the way to do it,” said Norreen Bautista, head of EDC’s Community Partnerships, External Relations and Watershed Management (CREW) group in Negros Island.

Bautista said the actual names of some of the threatened native trees that EDC is bringing back to abundance through its BINHI greening legacy include Almaciga, Apitong, Yakal-Kaliot, Katmonbayani, Gisok-gisok, Malak-malak, Baguilumbang, Kalantas, White Lauan Malinoag, Nato, Igem, Malabayabas, Yakal, Almon, Tanguile, Batikuling, Bagauak-Morado, Antipolo, Malasaging Dao and Guijo.

EDC has identified and secured 96 threatened premium native trees, many of which are present in Negros Island.

“We established a hedge garden of threatened trees in our state-of-the-art nursery in Bago City, Negros Occidental.  We also put up a fully automated vegetative material reproduction (VMR) or cloning facility in 2012 to have a source for continuous production of these threatened species in the absence of seeds and wildlings in the forest,” said Bautista.

Negros Island was blessed not only with a vast source of geothermal power, which EDC has been sustainably producing since 1983, she added.

With its Biodiversity Conservation and Monitoring Program (BCMP) that it began in 2008 in partnership with the University of the Philippines Institute of Biology, Ariola said the company was able to identify endangered native trees within the company’s watershed areas in its areas of operation and have taken the necessary measures to preserve them and bring them back to abundance.

It is said the BCMP results indicate that more than 70 of these 96 threatened species were preserved through our watershed management efforts in Negros Island, including our BINHI greening legacy and Adopt-a-Wildlife Species program. (rmn/jct/PIA7-Negros Oriental/This article was published at PIA website on Mar. 18, 2016)


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