Energy Development Company (EDC) has successfully started its fourth vegetative material reproduction (VMR) nursery in its 108-megawatt Mindanao geothermal facility in Kidapawan City. The nursery, which will host the majority of EDC’s priority native species in Mindanao under its flagship environmental program BINHI, is expected to be completed this year.
EDC corporate social responsibility head for Mt. Apo Myrisssa Lepiten-Tabao said the VMR is a facility constructed for the propagation of the “rescued and secured” premium threatened Philippine tree species.
“Since the VMR is a nursery structure wherein the environment needed for propagation of the trees like sunlight, water and air are controlled, it will greatly help the propagation of Mindanao priority species and will ease the mobilization of the project implementation,” Lepiten-Tabao said.
Of the 96 species that EDC prioritized to rescue and protect under the BINHI program, 73 can also be found in Mindanao, 11 of them being endemic to the island.
To recall, EDC partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau for the propagation of 11 most rare and threatened tree species, which include four Mindanao endemic species.
EDC’s first VMR was established in 2012 at its Northern Negros site in Bago City, Negros Occidental. The second one was put up in the Southern Negros geothermal facility in Valencia, Negros Oriental in 2018 together with the third VMR in Antipolo.
EDC has already reforested close to 10,000 hectares, 100 hectares of which were carried out in 2019 across three sites: 24 hectares in the Bacon-Manito Geothermal Reservation in Albay/Sorsogon, 70 hectares at the Pantabangan-Masiway Hydro Project in Pantabangan, Nueva Ecija, and six hectares in Mt. Apo Geothermal Reservation in Kidapawan City.
It 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. (Story by: Frances Ariola)