Environment Secretary Ramon J.P. Paje has commended the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) for coming up with a reference manual on reforestation, saying it could be a useful tool for the highly acclaimed National Greening Program (NGP) and other reforestation projects of the government.
The three-part module titled “A Field Manual on Forest Reforestation Using Indigenous Species” provides a step by step guide to reforestation and forest management practice.
“Through the reforestation manual, we hope that more people in our partner agencies will learn new and innovative approaches on planting trees that will continue the NGP’s success,” Paje said.
NGP, which is mainly implemented by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), is the flagship reforestation program of the Aquino administration that seeks to cover 1.5 million hectares with trees by the end of 2016.
However, President Aquino issued in November last year Executive Order No. 193 creating the Expanded NGP that aims to reforest “all remaining unproductive, denuded and degraded forestlands” by 2028.
“The reforestation manual serves as the compass to lead the participants of NGP to efficiently achieve the necessary targets that will eventually culminate as another achievement for DENR and its partners,” Paje said.
EDC, the largest producer of geothermal energy in the country, has been a partner of the DENR since 2011 in the implementation of the company’s own reforestation program called BINHI.
BINHI, a main strategic partner of the NGP, involves rescuing and securing endangered plant species by planting mother trees and producing even more seeds.
Negros, Leyte, Albay, Sorsogon, Cotabato, and Nueva Ecija are just some of the host provinces of BINHI, which main objective is to plant 1,000 seedlings every year for 10 years.
Published by the Visayas State University, the manual’s three modules contain basic guidelines and strategies on how to conduct a successful reforestation activity in a certain area with different conditions.
According to EDC president Richard Tantoco, the manual was drawn from the experiences of their employees who have implemented the BINHI program, together with the best practices in reforestation from national and international perspectives. ###