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Originally published on BusinessMirror.com.ph

QUICK READ: Energy Development Corporation is a first-responder in the conservation of Boracay wetlands.

THE Boracay Wetland Conservation Park illustrates the value of multi-sectoral convergence in conservation work, Environment Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said, expressing hope that the lessons gained from the Boracay wetland rehabilitation will inspire business and government leaders to invest financial and political capital to save wetlands in various parts of the country.

Cimatu said the wetlands of Boracay are now under different phases of rehabilitation and praised the private sector that adopted what was then considered a wasteland rather than a wetland because of their degraded state.

The top official of the Department of Environment And Natural Resources (DENR) was referring to the Energy Development Corporation (EDC), Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc., Boracay Tubi System Inc., J.G. Summit Olefins Corp., and San Miguel Corp. who were among the first to respond to his call to help rehabilitate Boracay’s wetlands.

In a video message during the celebration of World Wetlands Day 2022 last February 2, the DENR chief underscored the importance of wetlands.

With the theme “Wetlands Action for People and Nature” the country’s celebration was highlighted by the turnover of the newly rehabilitated Boracay Wetland Conservation Park from its “adoptor” the Energy Development Corp. to the DENR.

EDC, a pioneer in geothermal energy production, was among the first to respond to the DENR’s Adopt-A-Wetland Program to recover and restore the island’s nine wetlands.

This year’s theme focuses on the importance of concerted actions for the conservation and sustainable use of wetlands for the benefit of humanity, the environment, and biodiversity.

Cimatu said he personally witnessed the transformation of the Boracay Wetland Conservation Park or Wetland No. 2 “from a degraded wetland to what it is now—an arboretum of native trees, an ecotourism site and an educational center for conservation.”

Cimatu is the chairman of the Boracay Inter-Agency Task Force for the rehabilitation of the island per Executive Order 53 issued by President Rodrigo Roa Duterte on May 18, 2018.

BMB OIC Director Natividad Bernardino, who served as the general manager of the Boracay Inter-Agency Rehabilitation Management Group from 2019-2021, said that “the rehabilitation of the iconic island was first met with resistance but we were able to accomplish what needs to be done.”

“Rehabilitation is no easy feat. It requires a balance of toughness and compassion. Law enforcement is tough, especially when people and livelihoods are involved but when environmental laws are properly enforced, we appreciate its gains in the long run, in a more sustainable manner for the common good,” Bernardino said.

Wetlands are dubbed as “kidneys of the Earth” as they filter water through vegetation and substrates, help mitigate the effects of climate change, and provide healing through their recreational uses.

World Wetlands Day is celebrated annually on February 2 to raise global awareness on the vital role of wetlands for people and our planet.

The date also marks the anniversary of the Convention on Wetlands, which was adopted as an international treaty in 1971.

Presidential Proclamation 74, Series of 1999, also declares February 2 of every year as National Wetlands Day in recognition of the immense importance of wetlands to the welfare of the Filipino people and the protection of global biodiversity.

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.

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