EDC establishes threatened species arboretum in UP


Greenpartnership. Energy Development Corporation has established a “Threatened Species Arboretum” in UP Diliman.  The 1-hectare arboretum will serve as a gene bank for high-value but fast-dwindling native trees such as yakal, tindalo and kamagong.  Shown leading the inauguration of the arboretum from left to right are EDC Chairman Federico Lopez, EDC Chairman Emeritus Oscar Lopez, UP Chancellor Michael Tan and UP Institute of Biology Director Sonia Jacinto.The arboretum will be the living laboratory for plant taxonomy classes, research areas for scientists, serve as the mother trees for future seedlings for reforestation and as an information center on native trees for the public.

Geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) has established an arboretum of threatened native species at the UP Institute of Biology (UPIB) in Diliman, Quezon City.  The arboretum is a component of EDC’s BINHI Tree for the Future project which aims to save and propagate high-value but fast-dwindling Philippine trees such as yakal, tindalo, kamagong, mangkono and ipil.

EDC Chairman Emeritus Oscar Lopez and Chairman Federico Lopez inaugurated the arboretum together with UP Chancellor Michael Tan, College of Science Dean Jose Balmaceda and UPIB director Sonia Jacinto.   The 1-hectare arboretum will serve as a seedling or gene bank for threatened Philippine tree species and a source of planting materials for forest restoration programs.

“With this arboretum, we are trying to prevent extinction of the country’s most premium endangered tree species which is what makes EDC’s BINHI project different from other reforestation projects.  We source the few remaining seedlings of endangered premium native trees and grow them into mother trees in planting sites where they can be best protected and nurtured such as in school grounds, public parks, leisure estates, residential areas and urban spaces as available. These mother trees will be used to propagate more seedlings for transplant all over the country,” Mr. Oscar Lopez explained.

More than 150 trees representing 79 premium endangered species will be planted in the arboretum.  These will be properly labeled consisting of scientific names, distribution, ecological status and uses, families and forest formations.  As such, the arboretum will serve as a living laboratory for taxonomy students, faculty and researchers of the UP Institute of Biology to undertake research and better understand Philippine forests.

Through the BINHI Tree for the Future project, EDC has been able to rescue and secure 88 of the 96 priority endangered species.  EDC is probably the only organization in the country that is heavily involved in the rescue of the Philippines’ rarest and most endangered premium tree species.

UPIB is EDC’s 109th partner for the BINHI Tree for the Future project.  As a BINHI partner, UPIB will share in the responsibility of implementing the long-term protection, monitoring and maintenance of the planted trees until these have grown into mother trees.  UPIB will also provide yearly updates on the status of the seedlings for the EDC-DENR BINHI website and database.

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.

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.