The Ecosystems Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has signed an agreement with the Energy Development Corp. (EDC) for the conservation of the 11 most critically endangered native tree species in the Philippines.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed by ERDB Director Henry Adornado and EDC Corporate Support Function Group Head and Assistant Vice President Regina Victoria Pascual.
DENR Secretary Roy A. Cimatu said that through the MOU with EDC, the DENR will be able to “more effectively conserve and propagate native tree species that are vital to sustaining biodiversity.”
He noted the public can expect the DENR to build more partnerships to protect the environment even with the ongoing pandemic.
“Our mandate in the DENR does not stop even amid a health crisis. We can assure Filipinos that we will continue to partner with other institutions to safeguard the well-being of the environment,” Cimatu said.
Under the five-year MOU, the ERDB and EDC agree to collaborate on strengthening the BINHI program, an initiative of EDC that focuses on native tree conservation and aims to rescue and ensure propagation of selected 96 premium Philippine threatened species across the country. The ERDB-EDC collaboration zeroes in on 11 rarest and most critically endangered tree species — kadalis narig, malayakal, Mindanao narek, pinulog, Palawan narig, narig laot, kanining peneras, Cagayan narek, pianga, mapilig, and Samar gisok.
The ERDB and EDC will conduct in-site conservation or the conservation of species in their natural habitats.
It is considered the most appropriate way of preserving biodiversity for it protects inhabitants and ensures the sustainability of the environment and ecosystem.
Among others, the ERDB is tasked to coordinate with potential EDC partners for the identification of different tree species, provide assistance in sourcing and propagation of seedlings, and assist in technicalities and protocols for tree planting.
“ERDB is very much willing to respond to the need to conserve our natural resources by providing full support in developing science-based propagation protocols or information on the selected tree species through our research, development, and extension centers,” Adornado said.
Pascual said the EDC looks forward to a successful partnership with ERDB to rescue and secure the country’s native tree species.
“All the outcomes of our five-year partnership with ERDB will not only enable us to capacitate local government units and other organizations to protect these species,” Pascual said. “It will result in more of these trees planted and grown and therefore, more carbon absorbed and cleaner air — a positive impact that we all need during this COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.