First Gen-owned Energy Development Corporation (EDC) and Bicol University (BU) College of Science have established an arboretum inside the latter’s main campus to preserve and mainstream Philippine threatened tree species in time for the university’s 52nd founding anniversary.
A total of 100 seedlings comprising 32 premium tree species were planted in this haven of native tree species to commemorate the university’s over five decades of academic excellence.
Both parties signed a memorandum of agreement exactly a year ago to commence this project that aims to grow “mother trees” of native Philippine tree species that are on the brink of extinction. This project is the fruit of EDC’s 12 years of search-and-rescue initiatives under its forest restoration program, BINHI.
EDC Corporate Social Responsibility Head for Bac-Man geothermal facility Eduardo L. Jimenez said their environmental advocacy focuses on propagating native trees that suit our climate since it is much more typhoon-resilient than the exotic tree species. Those selected varieties are also uniquely found in Bicol Region.
Moreover, EDC’s BINHI team considers schools as ideal planting areas that serve as a living laboratory where the native species are protected and made accessible for students, teachers, researchers, and environmental enthusiasts.
“Energy Development Corporation has been planting trees since we started operating in 1976. As we and the rest of the Lopez group take on the challenge of forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future, it is my fervent hope that even more will join us in striving toward a greener world and adopting a regenerative mindset,” Jimenez added.
To date, there are more than six million seedlings planted under the BINHI program across the country, and Bicol University Arboretum is the 22nd BINHI arboretum established to help enhance biodiversity for years to come.
“This pandemic did not stop us from collaborating while maintaining social distancing and other safety protocols. I hope that Bicol University, in our active quest to sustain a good and green environment in the campus, will be able to nurture this arboretum,” said Jocelyn Serrano, BU College of Science Dean.
The inauguration and ceremonial tree planting were broadcasted virtually through the BUCS CSIT Department Facebook page. EDC also teamed up with DENR Region V and the Provincial Government of Albay in planting threatened native trees inside the Albay Park and Wildlife Center during the Philippine Environment Month celebration last June.
Energy Development Corporation, First Gen Corporation’s 100% RE subsidiary, has over 1,480MW total installed capacity that accounts for 20% percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity. Its 1,181MW geothermal portfolio, which includes its 140MW Bacon-Manito geothermal facility, accounts for 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and has put the Philippines on the map as the 3rd largest geothermal producer in the world.