Lopez-led geothermal leader Energy Development Corporation (EDC) stays true to its commitment to protect and conserve the environment through rescuing and propagating premium threatened Philippine native species as it officially forged an agreement with its 181st BINHI partner and to set up its third arboretum in the City of Antipolo alone.
EDC formally teamed up with Victoria Valley Association, a group of homeowners associations whose houses lie at the mountain ridges of Sierra Madre in Antipolo City, to propagate premium tree species under the BINHI program.
In a virtual signing ceremony held on 20 Oct, EDC Corporate Social Responsibility Head Atty. Allan Barcena said the partnership will give birth to the 19th arboretum of EDC BINHI which will be the safe haven of premium Philippine native tree species. The arboretum will be the third to be established in the City of Antipolo following its arboreta in Eugenio Lopez Center and Pinto Art Museum.
“Through this partnership, we hope to contribute to the greening of Antipolo which we know is a part of Sierra Madre mountain range to further preserve our biodiversity. More than the planting of native tree species, we also hope to instill awareness to the rest of the public the value and importance of trees in maintaining the balance in our ecosystems,” Barcena said.
Under the agreement, VVAI has identified four major areas in Victoria Valley subdivision wherein the native trees species seedlings from EDC will be planted. The Board of Directors of VVAI also agreed to make the whole valley as an arboretum of native tree species.
“Trees are vital to maintain and sustain life. It provides shelter for animals and shade for other plants. Our partnership with EDC, with its experience and skills, will support us with the right trees to plant. We assure you as your partner that you will have our full support, cooperation, and coordination during this whole project,” said VVAI President and Cainta Mayor Johnielle Keith Nieto as delivered by VVAI Vice President Alex Punzalan during the virtual signing ceremony.
The agreement between the two parties became successful through the effort and constant guidance from the Antipolo Valley Ecological Society (AVES), a group of faculty members from the University of the Philippines – Institute of Biology, and individuals who share the same passion for biodiversity awareness.
“Our reasons were to provide endangered and endemic Philippine Hawk Eagle with the secure home, to engage the Victoria Valley community in conserving their natural heritage, to educate the next generations about the value of forests and what it takes to respect and care for nature and perhaps the best of all, to allow Filipinos to enjoy the biodiversity of Victoria Valley,” said Dr. Carmela Espanola, UP Assistant Professor and convener of AVES.
“It’s not the only trees that we are trying to save, it is everything that goes with it,” she added.
BINHI is EDC’s nationwide forest restoration program and the country’s largest private sector-led greening initiative that aims to restore denuded forests, preserve and propagate threatened native tree species, and protect biodiversity to leave a legacy of a verdant Philippines for future generations. EDC has also planted nearly 50,000 native and fruit tree seedlings in 2019, bringing to 6.44 million its total number of planted seedlings since BINHI started in 2008.
EDC’s over 1,499MW total installed capacity accounts for 20% percent of the country’s total installed RE capacity while its 1,204.67MW geothermal portfolio 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.