FOR 2022 alone, Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) records 234,823 trees planted within its mining camps and has donated 185,466 seedlings to the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) in support of the government’s National Greening Program (NGP).
President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr., recently issued a challenge to plant more trees as one way of countering the threats of climate change. NAC proves to have been in on this year after year.
The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 obliges mining companies to plant 100 trees to replace every tree they cut due to their operations. This is part of the mining industry’s rehabilitation programs embedded in the Mining Act and the mining companies’ commitment to the greening of communities where they operate.
Above and beyond what the law requires, NAC and its subsidiaries take serious participation in the NGP programs by generating seedlings, with the help of the communities, and donating thousands of them to DENR.
The past year has seen an increase of requests for seedlings for fruit-bearing trees which is much more expensive to generate as compared to seedlings for forest trees.
“The people in the communities are more interested in fruit bearing trees to plant in NGP-identified areas,” says Jomer Tiamson, a forester and Envi Manager for Hinatuan Mining Corp., a subsidiary of NAC based in Tagana-an Surigao del Norte.
Tiamson explains that it further proves NAC’s commitment to the greening programs because the cost of generating a seedling for a forest tree is P10 pesos each, while a seedling for a fruit tree costs P30 pesos.
According to Engr. Remedios Collado-Camo, NAC AVP for Industrial Safety/OIC, Environment Sector, seedlings production is an important part of the operations of the mining companies under the NAC group.
“Propagation of seedlings is a complex responsibility of the Environment Group of the NAC organization because we have a goal to produce enough seedlings to cover the hectares upon hectares of mined-out areas ready for rehabilitation plus there is our commitment to DENR’s NGP,” says Collado-Camo.
She adds, “for 2022 alone, we estimate some P8.5M worth of seedlings we disbursed to various greening programs and that is the definition of our commitment to the greening of the communities and the nation”.| – pr