DUMAGUETE CITY -- Geothermal leader Energy Development Corp. (EDC) has expressed support for government efforts to rehabilitate Boracay Island and restore its natural resources through the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).

Last August 13, the DENR entered into a memorandum of agreement with its corporate partners, including EDC, in its Central Office along Visayas Ave. in Quezon City.

Under the agreement, EDC, through BINHI, its flagship environmental program, has committed to adopt wetland number 2, a 7.79-hectare area in Barangay Balabag, where only native trees will be planted and grown.

EDC will also put up an arboretum of native trees and plans to build an information center for visitors of the wetland and a bird watch platform to allow visitors to view birds and bats that have been sighted in the area.

These initiatives contribute to DENR’s efforts to clean up and rehabilitate Boracay, which has been closed to the public since April this year.

EDC and DENR’s partnership for the wetland will run for three years.

Under BINHI, EDC has undertaken the task of propagating 96 priority threatened native species. Foresters of the BINHI program have successfully located samples of these species in the wild.

These samples were collected and are currently being propagated in EDC’s state-of-the-art automated nurseries in Antipolo and Negros Oriental.

“The 96 native tree species have become increasingly rare, some were even last seen in 1911. Hence, they were believed to be already extinct. Through our BINHI team’s hard work, these 96 species were found, and we are now working towards propagating these. This partnership with the DENR is another way for us to increase the numbers of these tree species and restore the nature of Boracay,” EDC President and Chief Operating Officer Richard Tantoco said.

Now on its 10th year, the BINHI program has reforested 9,196 hectares across EDC’s geothermal sites located in Leyte, Bicol, Negros Oriental, and North Cotabato.

To help propagate these native tree species, BINHI now has 162 partners across 16 regions.

EDC is one of the world’s largest vertically integrated geothermal companies and the only diversified renewable energy firm in the country, with an installed total capacity of 1,456.8 megawatts of purely renewable energy. (PR)