Originally published on vsu.edu.ph/
QUICK READ: Energy Development Corporation set to build an arboretum at the Visayas State University flagship campus in Baybay City. The arboretum is the company’s greening initiative that aims to restore denuded forests, preserve and propagate native tree species, and protect biodiversity.
An arboretum of native Philippine trees will soon rise inside the VSU flagship campus in Baybay City. This new project will soon become an added attraction to the many scenic sites and other eco-tourism spots inside the university.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) will lead in developing this project in partnership with the VSU College of Forestry and Environmental Science (CFES).
Formally called as the EDC-BINHI arboretum project, this is a nationwide greening program that aims to restore denuded forests, preserve and propagate threatened native tree species, and protect biodiversity.
An arboretum is basically a botanical collection of various tree species and shrubs that will feature a number of endangered tree species collected from all over the country.
The VSU Nature Park located near Molave Hill was selected as the final site of this arboretum project and will initially occupy an area of 2,000 square meters.
A memorandum of agreement (MOA) has been signed between VSU and the EDC to formally seal this partnership on March 30, 2022. This virtual event was witnessed by key university officials, CFES faculty and staff, and representatives from the EDC.
In his speech, VSU President Edgardo E. Tulin emphasized that the EDC BINHI arboretum project is very much aligned with the vision of the university of becoming a global leader in environmental conservation.
“The VSU administration will commit to maintaining the arboretum project as part of our commitment to proactively provide solutions to our many complex problems and challenges related to environmental conservation,” Dr. Tulin said.
In response, Regina Victoria J. Pascual who is EDC’s Vice President and Head of Corporate Support Functions Group expressed her confidence that VSU will ensure that proper care and maintenance will be provided to the endangered and endemic tree species that will be showcased in the VSU arboretum.
“The establishment of this arboretum will ensure that the many native trees that we see in Leyte will be preserved properly for scientific and educational purposes and that the long term survival of these endangered species will be ensured for many years to come,” the EDC Vice President explained.
The arboretum that will be established in VSU will be the fourth of its kind in the Leyte island and the 29th arboretum in the country that was completed by EDC.
VSU had a longstanding partnership with EDC for various watershed management activities including other biodiversity conservation projects, and even in co-producing a manual on forest restoration.
Aside from these, VSU-CFES has been sending interns from the Bachelor of Science in Forestry (BSF) program at the EDC Tongonan Geothermal Power Plant located in Ormoc City.
In closing, Dr. Maria Juliet C. Ceniza, the Vice President for Research, Extension, and Innovation, expressed her thanks to EDC for choosing VSU as the fourth home of their newest arboretum project in Leyte.
“It is an honor for us to host this project and we’re excited to showcase this arboretum not just to our students but also to our visitors who would like to learn about forest restoration and conservation,” Dr. Ceniza said.
Other VSU officials who were present in the virtual MOA signing were: Prof. Rosa Ophelia D. Velarde, the Director for Research; Dr. Antonio P. Abamo, the Director for Extension; and Dr. Anatolio B. Polinar, the Head of Department of Forest Science (DFS).
As for EDC, the attendees included the following: Atty. Allan V. Barcena, the Assistant Vice President and Head for Corporate Relations and Communications Division; For. Erwin Magallanes, the Head for Corporate Relations Department in Leyte; and Ms. Nancy Ibuna representing the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) unit of the organization.
The Energy Development Corporation (EDC) is the leading 100% clean, renewable energy company in the Philippines, with over 40 years of experience in geothermal technology. With power plants situated across the country, EDC is the world’s largest vertically integrated geothermal company. The company also strives to provide the best customer and value-adding services to all its customers. To learn more about lowering your business’ carbon footprint by shifting to renewable energy, visit energy.com.ph or email [email protected]