By Lenie Lectura – January 28, 2019
from Business Mirror
LOPEZ-LED Energy Development Corp. (EDC) is on its second year of implementing a P10-million rehab work program of its adopted wetland in Boracay island.
“The first-year spending is P3 million for planting, signage, walkway and view deck. For this year, our target is to have a tourist info center for around P3 million,” said Allan V. Barcena, EDC Corporate Social Responsibility head.
The EDC adopted the 7.79-hectare Wetland No. 2, one of the nine wetlands in the island identified by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources where environmental rehabilitation is needed.
It is developing Wetland No. 2 into the Boracay Wetland Conservation Park (BWCP) to serve as an arboretum for threatened native-tree species under the Binhi reforestation and greening initiative. The project was inaugurated in October 2018, coinciding with the island’s reopening.
Just southwest of Diniwid beach is a brackish water swamp that has been turned into a construction dump over the years.
In support of the government’s continuous rehabilitation efforts as well as to further stimulate eco-tourism, EDC has entered into a partnership with the DENR to bring the geothermal energy leader’s flagship environmental program Binhi to Boracay.
“Our agreement with DENR is to rehabilitate the area in three years then turn it over to the DENR which will then manage it together with the LGU (local government unit). The BWCP is a three-year project. We plan to invest P10 million during this period,” added Barcena.
The EDC is the largest diversified renewable-energy firm in the country, with installed total capacity of 1,456.8 megawatts (MW) of purely renewable energy. Binhi is the company’s forest-restoration program that prioritizes the propagation of 96 identified rare and threatened native-tree species.
Now on its 10th year, the Binhi program has reforested 9,196 hectares across EDC’s geothermal sites in Leyte, Bicol, Negros Oriental and North Cotabato. Additionally, to help further propagate these native-tree species, Binhi now has 162 partners across 16 regions in the country.
As of 2018, Binhi has effectively helped EDC attain a carbon-negative status. In its sustainability report, EDC’s geothermal reservations have effectively absorbed 970,472 tons of carbon dioxide.