By Jennifer C. Tilos
Over 200 volunteers from Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and its partners for a Greener Negros movement (10M in 10) celebrated BINHI and Arbor Day by planting 3,000 native tree seedlings at Brgy. Calabnugan, Sibulan, Negros Oriental.
EDC and its current and potential 10M in 10 partners planted balite, tabugay, taruy, talo-ot, pili, and kube trees in celebration of the two important occasions that are instrumental to the fulfillment of their commitment to grow back forests in Negros Island.
“The passion for environmental preservation of all our BINHI and 10M in 10 partners is truly admirable,” said Norreen Bautista, head of EDC’s Community Partnerships, External Relations, and Watershed Management Group in Negros Island.
Bautista said the huge turnout of volunteers indicate the Negrenses’ increasing awareness on the need to plant more native trees.”
Now on its 10 year, BINHI is EDC’s forest restoration program that aims to bring back to abundance premium endangered native trees and to bridge forest gaps through a holistic, scientific, and multi-pronged approach.
To date, the company has already planted over 6.3 million seedlings with the help of its 149 partners from 16 regions all over the country, said Baustista.
She added that more than 2.5 million of these were planted on over 3,000 hectares in Negros Island with the help of EDC’s over 30 BINHI local partners.
In 2016, EDC’s BINHI team identified, located, and collected 96 targeted threatened native tree species and have sought out ways to propagate them.
To do this, EDC has put up a state-of-the-art automated nursery called a Vegetative Materials Reproduction (VMR) facility in its 222.5MW geothermal project in Valencia, Negros Oriental that makes use of an automated mist irrigation system to give the right amount of mist and mimic the conditions of a natural forest habitat.
This VMR in Valencia will serve not only the need for native seedlings of EDC’s BINHI partners in the Visayas region but even that of its over 140 10M in 10 partners.
“We encourage those who are truly committed to protecting and restoring the forests of Negros Island to partner with us in this green revolution. All these efforts are crucial in fighting climate change,” Bautista urged.
The geothermal leader, EDC is the world’s largest vertically integrated geothermal company and the only diversified renewable energy firm in the country.
The company has been powering Negros Island for over 35 years with geothermal energy, the only form of renewable energy that can provide baseload power 24/7.