(Left -Right): Tracy Peralta, Head of EDC CSR Dept; Onel Luna, EDC HR manager; Art Valdez, EDC director; Dr. Fernando Sanchez, UPLB chancellor; Dr. Willie Abasolo, UPLB College of Forestry & Natural Resources dean; Prof. Roniel Manalo, UPLB CFNR associate dean and Dr. Ramon Razal, former UPLB CFNR dean
Geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) in partnership with the University of the Philippines at Los Banos (UPLB) and UPLB Foundation established a biodiversity park in UPLB. The UPLB-EDC BINHI biodiversity park will serve as a seedling or gene bank for threatened Philippine tree species and a source of planting materials for forest restoration programs.
A total of 240 trees including the highly valued “dalingdingan,” “kaladis narig,” “kamagong,” “malabayabas,” “manggachapui,” “narek,” “Philippine teak,” and “tindalo” are now planted in the park. The trees will be properly labeled consisting of scientific names, distribution, ecological status and uses, families and forest formations. As such, the park will serve as a living laboratory for taxonomy students, faculty and researchers. The park is also equipped with facilities and a nature-themed walkway for the appreciation of both conservationists and tourists.
EDC has been seriously involved in the rescue and preservation of the country’s most premium endangered tree species through BINHI, its landmark biodiversity project. Launched in 2008 using EDC’s three decades of experience in integrated social forestry as platform, BINHI has become a model for corporate-led reforestation programs among Philippine businesses.
“Through BINHI, we seek to preserve the gene pool of the critically endangered premium indigenous tree species which are at the core of our local biodiversity and which represent our nation’s heritage and identity. EDC is rescuing them from the few remaining stands in the wild, through the collection of seeds and wildlings, and is propagating them for replanting in safe areas such as schools and parks. When these grow up to be mother trees, we will then gather the seeds and plant them in even more schools, parks and protected areas to bring them back to abundance.” EDC Vice President for Corporate Affairs Ramon Carandang explained.
Carandang added that EDC, through intensive field work, has successfully rescued the 96 priority endangered tree species which were selected for their superior strength and high economic and aesthetic values. Right now, EDC is the only organization in the country undertaking the rescue of our country’s endangered premium and indigenous tree species.
EDC has already completed similar tree park projects in UP Diliman, BayaniJuan in Calauan, Laguna, and Rafael Salas Park in Bago City. It has also planted seedlings of these rare and endangered species in 120 partner schools and parks nationwide. EDC’s partners in the BINHI project share in the responsibility of implementing the long-term protection, monitoring and maintenance of the planted trees until these have grown into mother trees and to ensure that such rare species will never be allowed to become extinct.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is a pioneer in generating 100% clean, renewable, and reliable power as an electricity supplier in the Philippines for over 40 years. With power plants all over Visayas and Mindanao, the company is one of the biggest producers of geothermal energy in Asia and is expanding its reach in the international market, allowing it to offer customers affordable energy rates. EDC also strives to provide the best customer service it can to all its clients by having helpful salespeople and easy to understand contracts. Because of all of this, it is poised to become the premier supplier of electricity for the Philippines’ Green Energy Option Program. EDC takes its mission as a renewable energy provider seriously and goes beyond sustainability by investing in programs that enhance the environment and empower its partner communities, thereby fostering regenerative development. The company has also been working toward being carbon-neutral by improving its energy efficiency, as well as implementing various greening projects to ensure that its mission to provide future generations with a better life remains intact.