Planting and growing at least 10 million natives trees within a 10 year period, with the aim of bringing back the forests of Negros island, is achievable, former Environment and Natural Resources assistant secretary Marlo Mendoza said yesterday.
Mendoza, who discussed the proposed roadmap and strategies on how to achieve the Greener Negros master plan with 63 partners, at a hotel in Bacolod City, said that greening programs in the past several years did not succeed, due to lack of an efficient system.
He said the weaknesses in previous implementations of the greening program should be taken into consideration, for the new program to be successful.
The 10M in 10 for a Greener Negros movement of the Energy Development Corp. launched in October last year, aims to plant, grow and protect about 10 million native trees in the next 10 years, with the help of individuals, government agencies, people's organizations and private companies.
EDC now has 63 partner-organizations to realize its vision of growing back the forests of Negros island.
Before the implementation of the government National Greening Program, Mendoza said Negros island had a remaining forest cover of four percent, which he described as “very alarming”.
Vicente Omandam, Operations Manager for Negros Island Geothermal Business Unit, joined Mendoza, who is also the 10M in 10 executive director, in spelling out the three strategies stipulated in the proposed roadmap, that include bayanihan plantation, adopt-a- plantation, and EDCs BINHI greening legacy.
EDC reported last year to have already planted about 400,000 native trees on 470 hecatres in San Carlos, Calatrava, and Salvador Benedicto in Negros Occidental, as well as in Valencia, Dauin and Zamboanguita in Negros Oriental, with more than 400 members of EDC's farmers' associations benefitting from the planting and maintenance of the planted trees.
Mendoza said it will the EDC Project Management Office that will provide a system and guidance in the synchronization of all efforts of its 63 partner-organizations, not only in the technical and logistical aspects, but also the plan itself.
Norreen Bautista, chief of the EDC's Community Partnerships, External Relations and Water Management (CREW) for Negros island, said, “10M in 10 is a great opportunity to unite and collaborate with all those who are committed to protecting the environment and restoring the forests of Negros island.”
From 2009 to 2015, EDC, a leading producer of geothermal energy in the country, reported also to have reforested more than 2,700 hectares of Negros island with more than 2 million native trees planted, under its BINHI program.
The 10M in 10 movement also aims to establish stable and productive watersheds, enhance and protect the Negros island biodiversity, and develop resilient communities and eco-system that are able to adapt to climate change impacts.*GPB
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