QUICK READ: Forest restoration in the Philippines is given a boost with this new partnership.
Lopez-led geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) forged another partnership on October 9 to rescue and secure endangered species in Negros Oriental under its flagship environment program BINHI.
EDC formally inked a partnership with the prestigious Silliman University in a virtual Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signing ceremony to preserve Philippine threatened tree species by establishing an arboretum inside the Center for Tropical Conservation Studies (CENTROP), Silliman University’s field laboratory grounds in Palinpinon, Valencia, Negros Oriental, to provide a safe haven for the long-term survival of the trees.
An arboretum is like a garden where various tree species are grown and preserved for people to look at and study for scientific purposes. The Silliman-EDC BINHI Arboretum will be a collection of Philippine threatened tree species under the BINHI program to strengthen its niche programs on forest biodiversity, biotechnology, and conservation biology for instruction, research, and extension.
EDC Corporate Social Responsibility Head for Negros Norreen G. Bautista said the partnership will be a great help in achieving BINHI’s goal of conserving biodiversity by securing, rescuing, and propagating endangered and threatened tree species.
“This partnership with Silliman University is not our first. In fact, EDC probably has one of the most number of joint projects with Silliman among all our partners, not surprisingly, because of the mutual trust that both institutions have cultivated over the years and our shared commitment to preserving our environment. This partnership is meant to elevate the environment, something which is very much aligned with our new chosen path of forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future,” Bautista said during the signing ceremony.
EDC has agreed to provide native tree seedlings from its 96 priority species under BINHI, scientific information, and technical assistance in monitoring and maintaining the tree species to Silliman University, its 179th BINHI partner and 17th arboretum.
“This partnership with the BINHI program of the Energy Development Corporation helps widen CENTROP’s impact by promoting forest conservation and the preservation and the propagation of threatened native trees species. It is our hope that this arboretum may serve not only as a tree refuge and source of viable seeds for reforestation but also as a venue for student and community learning to enhance our nature conservation and environmental awareness,” said Silliman University President Dr. Betty C. McCann during the virtual MOA signing ceremony.
BINHI is EDC’s nationwide forest restoration program and the country’s largest private sector-led greening initiative that aims to restore denuded forests, preserve and propagate threatened native tree species, and protect biodiversity to leave a legacy of a verdant Philippines for future generations. EDC has also planted nearly 50,000 native and fruit tree seedlings in 2019, bringing to 6.44 million its total number of planted seedlings since BINHI started in 2008.
In Negros alone, 3,394 ha were reforested and 2.6 million seedlings were planted under the BINHI program.
Valencia, Negros Oriental has been home to EDC’s 222.5-megawatt (MW) geothermal facility, the company’s second-biggest facility and a model for compact development and greening, for almost 40 years. The facility has been supplying clean, renewable, and uninterrupted geothermal energy to Negros Island and the rest of the Visayas region amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
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.