EDC to conserve most rare, threatened BINHI native tree species with ERDB-DENR

QUICK READ: Energy Development Corporation and its program BINHI aims to restore forests, and this partnership with ERDB will help conserve rare native trees.


The future has not only taken root. It has grown branches for Lopez-led geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation’s (EDC) BINHI program.


Over 10 years since its launch and successful implementation, EDC is taking the next step to its greening legacy by partnering with the Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB).


BINHI is EDC’s forest restoration program that aims to bridge forest gaps in its areas of operation as well as bring back to abundance its 96 flagship threatened Philippine native tree species.


As the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) leading research bureau on the propagation of native trees, the ERDB has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Energy Development Corporation last August 20 to commence a five-year partnership for the in situ conservation and propagation of the most rare and threatened among the company’s BINHI native tree species.


EDC was already able identify, locate, and collect samples of its 96 flagship species and is currently in the process of propagating them in its fully automated native tree species nurseries in Negros Oriental, in Antipolo City, and soon in its Mount Apo geothermal site in Kidapawan, North Cotabato. As of 2019, it has likewise planted over six million of these native tree seedlings across the country with the help of its 178 committed BINHI partners.


Still, EDC recognizes the need to continuously work together with like-minded organizations and other experts in forest restoration to strengthen BINHI.


“We can’t green our country on our own and the worst part is, sustaining the current condition of our environment is no longer enough,” said Atty. Allan V. Barcena, head of EDC’s Corporate Social Responsibility-Public Relations team that has been spearheading the company’s BINHI program.


This realization has led EDC and the rest of the Lopez group to embark on a new mission of forging collaborative pathways for a decarbonized and regenerative future.

Through its 5-year partnership with ERDB-DENR, more of EDC’s most rare and threatened BINHI native species like this Malayakal (Shorea seminis) will continue to stand tall instead of being extinct.

For EDC, this entails enhancing the environment and the lives of the residents in its partner communities as it provides uninterrupted supply of 100% clean, renewable, cost-competitive power to its customers.


“Being able to save the last remaining species in our BINHI list and even propagate them for our future generations through this partnership with ERDB makes it our next necessary step towards regeneration,” added Barcena.


Among the native species included in this in situ propagation and conservation initiative include Mindanao Narek, Calades Narig, Malayakal, Pinulog, Palawan Narig, Narig Laot, Kanining Peneras, Cagayan Narek, Pianga, Mapilig, and Samar Gisok.


Both parties will explore the best ways to save the species from extinction, do related research, draft propagation protocols based on what they will learn from this project, and even provide guidance to local government units and stakeholders in those in situ areas to enable them to protect the species.


This project coincides with EDC’s current engagement as the International Union for Conservation of Nature’s (IUCN) only local partner in the Philippines. Botanic Gardens Conservation International, the IUCN’s secretariat and the world’s largest plant conservation network, has selected EDC to be a part of its Global Tree Assessment program to help update the status of 800 Philippine endemic tree species. To date, EDC has already assessed 200 species and the IUCN has updated and published 89 of them in their Red List.


EDC’s 1,499 MW total installed capacity generates 42 percent of the country’s total renewable energy, with its 1,204 MW geothermal portfolio accounting for 62 percent of the country’s total installed geothermal capacity and putting the Philippines on the map as the world’s 3rd largest geothermal producer.


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.