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Laying roots

AboitizPower leverage the power of partnership to plant more than 2 million trees

Trees provide a multitude of benefits to our environment and our well-being, as they contribute to energy conservation, water conservation and even heat absorption. They also provide livelihood and economic opportunities while serving as habitat for wildlife.

Most importantly, trees are a natural carbon sink because they absorb more carbon than they produce – all while releasing oxygen into our air. Consequently, trees help reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and play a crucial role in sustaining life on Earth.

This Earth Month, Aboitiz Power Corporation (AboitizPower) is recognizing its business units in various parts of the country that have taken action to fuel year-round efforts to plant more than two million trees and create carbon sinks for a healthier planet.

Along the way, important connections with local communities and stakeholders have also been formed and strengthened, demonstrating how camaraderie, responsibility and a sense of common ownership are needed to scale up carbon sequestration activities and ultimately achieve sustainable environmental and socio-economic change within local create communities.

CARBON SINK MANAGEMENT PROGRAMS

AboitizPower subsidiaries Therma South, Inc. (TSI) and Therma Visayas, Inc. (TVI) have built carbon sinks in Davao del Sur and Toledo City, Cebu, respectively, on their way to planting one million trees each in their host communities.

TSI started its Carbon Sink Management Program in 2015 and recently completed its goal of planting one million trees in Davao City, including areas covering the ancestral domains of indigenous peoples (IP).

Through a partnership with the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, together with the Matigsalug Council of Elders Marilog District Davao City, Inc. and the Matigsalug Manobo Tribal People Council of Elders Davao, Inc., TSI has successfully cultivated a variety of endemic, fruit-bearing and high-value trees in Marilog District. It also resulted in the recovery and rehabilitation of more than 845 hectares of the IP’s ancestral domain.

TSI and the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation also held several technical training courses on agricultural planning; nursery and seedling production; preparation of sites and construction of plantations; and maintenance and monitoring of plantations. Collaboration with the local public agricultural bureau will also provide more opportunities for the IPs, including further training in cocoa production, marketing and networking.

Meanwhile, TVI started its 10-year Carbon Sink Management Program in 2016 and has so far planted and cared for 770,000 trees with the help of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation and the hard work of some 277 farmers in Cebu.

By the end of 2023, the program covered an area of ​​1,084 hectares spread across the municipalities and cities of Balamban, Toledo, Borbon, Asturias, Barili, Tuburan, Pinamungahan, Ronda, Cebu and Dumanjug.

Under the program, partner farmers earn their livelihood through payments for their seedlings and maintenance services, as well as additional income opportunities from the proceeds of fruit-bearing and high-value trees.

Native mixed fruit and timber trees planted since 2017 include Narra, Lanutan, Kakaw, Coffee, Lomboy, Nangka, Guyabano, Rambutan, Lanzones, Avocado, Kunawom, Tugas/Molave, Duhat, Labana, Lemonsito/Kalamansi, Malaruhat, Sangil, Agoho del Monte, Caimito, Conalum and Taguilomboy.

IF YOU PLANT IT, THEY WILL COME

The eight-hectare Aboitiz Cleanergy Park in Punta Dumalag, Matina Aplaya, Davao City actively promotes the decarbonization of an urban area, with a mangrove reforestation site, a nursery and a botanical garden for the propagation of multiple native tree species. As a direct result, many bird species – from migrants, residents to local endemics – consider it their home.

Following a recommendation from the University of the Philippines Mindanao and the University of Southeastern Philippines in 2013, the park steadily distributed trees in the area through years of joint efforts by the public and private sectors, allowing an increase in the number of bird species in the area . there – rising from just five in 2015 to 106 in 2023.

As observed by birdwatchers visiting the park, more trees meant more food and shelter, helping to accommodate the influx of more bird species. This growth has been further supported by habitat conservation activities and good biodiversity management, making it a safer sanctuary for the birds, especially as too few people move around it. The site is jointly operated by AboitizPower subsidiary Davao Light and Aboitiz Foundation, Inc.

PROTECTION AND RESTORATION OF MANGROVE

Meanwhile, GNPower set up Mariveles Energy Center Ltd. Co. (GMEC) in Bataan is continuing its five-year mangrove adoption and protection project for the province through a series of activities, including a two-day workshop and a planting activity.

Last year, GMEC signed a memorandum of understanding for an estimated P6.8 million “5 Hectares Orani Mangrove Adoption and Protection Project” to improve the existing conditions of the mangrove areas in the allocated five hectares for a period of five years. subject for a possible extension.

At a recent workshop led by GMEC and implemented by Wetlands International Philippines, 46 participants from the provincial government of Bataan, several relevant local government offices and community partner Tubo-Tubo Fisherfolks Association learned the ins and outs of mangrove protection and restoration.

A few days after the workshop, 1,000 mangrove saplings were planted by 35 volunteers of the Tubo-Tubo Fisherfolks Association in the five-hectare area of ​​GMEC in Tubo-Tubo, Sitio Pulo, Barangay Kabalutan, Orani, Bataan.

Together with the Provincial Government of Bataan, the Municipality of Orani, the Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources and the Tubo-Tubo Fisherfolks Association, the project will help promote GMEC’s ​​flagship environmental program called PROGRESS, with emphasis on the letters “P” and ‘R’ stands for ‘Protect Marine Life’ and ‘Reforestation’ respectively.

For AboitizPower and its partners and neighbors, commemorating Earth Month is about working together to put its core message into practice year-round: ultimately leaving the planet better than when we found it.


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