The tree planting activity, spearheaded by the Philippine National Police – Special Action Force (PNP-SAF) and BNMI, will gather 600 participants on July 13 to plant at least 40,000 tree seedlings in Brgy. Guisguis, Sta. Cruz, Zambales. The said initiative is part of the comprehensive greening plan of Zambales, which aims to rehabilitate land that was denuded by rampant construction and/or illegal logging activities in the area.
Aside from officials and employees of PNP-SAF and BNMI, the tree planting activity will be participated in by representatives from the local Mines and Geosciences Bureau and the DENR CENRO Region 3, board members of the Municipality of Sta. Cruz, and officials of the Sangguniang Bayan of Brgy. Guisguis, together with a number of residents.
BNMI’s support for the tree planting activity affirms its commitment to foster Executive Order No. 26, or the National Greening Program, which encourages companies to coordinate with local government units to realize the goal of planting 1.5 billion trees throughout 1.5 million hectares by year 2016. The initiative hopes to mitigate the negative effects of deforestation and environmental degradation, especially the escalating frequency and intensity of typhoons brought about by climate change.
The DENR Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) has required BNMI to plant 500 tree seedlings per hectare in 100 hectares, or a total of 50,000 seedlings, within a three-year period starting 2012. To date, BNMI has planted a total of some 39,232 seedlings. With 40,000 tree seedlings to be planted on July 13, and another 20,000 seedlings on August 12 in celebration of BenguetCorp’s 109th anniversary, BNMI will be able to bring its total number of seedlings planted to nearly 100,000 by the end of 2012, exceeding the three-year MGB target by 98%.
BNMI aims to show that despite ongoing discussions regarding various mining issues in the Philippines, it remains committed to its advocacy of responsible mining by coordinating with the government to enact activities that promote participatory and integrated biodiversity enhancement, and proper land resource management, on top of providing its host communities with sustainable livelihood development and management programs.
From 1903 to 2011, BenguetCorp has recorded a total of 23.7 million trees planted within and outside of its mining areas. BNMI strives to continue supporting similar environmental initiatives to improve the quality of life, especially of its host communities.