EDC chairman Federico R. Lopez and CSR head Atty. Allan Barcena (3rd and 4th from left) with BGCI conservation specialists Ryan Hills and Megan Barstow during the signing of the memorandum of agreementBotanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), the world’s largest plant conservation network and the secretariat of the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), has tapped Energy Development Corporation (EDC) as the first and only local partner for its Global Tree Assessment program (GTA).
IUCN is the global authority on the status of the natural world and the measures needed to safeguard it. Through the GTA, BGCI aims to come up with the world’s first global list of tree species and their conservation assessments by 2020.
According to BGCI, only 25,000 of the world’s 80,000 tree species have been assessed globally or nationally for their risk of extinction. Through EDC’s BINHI corporate social responsibility initiative, BGCI will be able to obtain information on 800 Philippine endemic tree species.
“This partnership with the IUCN and BGCI could not have come at a more opportune time. We welcome the privilege, albeit the daunting task of being the Philippines’ first and only assessor of 800 native tree species,” said EDC chairman and chief executive officer Federico R. Lopez (FRL).
“The engagement can only take EDC’s biodiversity conversation programs several steps further as we learn best practices in proper global tree assessment and link up with BGCI’s network and other botanic gardens all over the world,” FRL added.
Under the partnership, EDC will receive a grant of £16,160 or more than P1 million over a two-year period. BGCI will also train the BINHI team, its partner organizations and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources on the IUCN Red List methodology, a vigorous and internationally respected procedure following strict guidelines and data requirements on extinction risk assessments.
“We want to enhance and harness the Philippines’ expertise and share it with the world. Hopefully, the Red List Assessments we’re producing for the Philippines will enable us to do that, to share what you’re learning in the Philippines with the world through our networks,” said visiting BGCI conservation specialist Megan Barstow.