Road to 1 million trees: Therma South, Rafi continue expansion of carbon sink

DAVAO CITY—Despite the pandemic, AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South Inc., together with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and its project partners, continues to make strides toward its goal of planting 1 million trees by 2024 as part of its Carbon Sink Management Program.

“The goal of the CSMP is to establish a long-lasting and significant strategy for carbon sequestration to mitigate the emissions of the power plant, while enjoining our indigenous communities to be partners in environmental stewardship, forest protection and conservation, and working toward sustainable development goals such as life on land ,” TSI Reputation and Stakeholder Management Supervisor JK Huyatid said.

Established in 2015, the CSMP aims to create a carbon sink by forging partnerships with various indigenous peoples’ groups and communities in Davao City to reach the 1 million trees target. A carbon sink is any natural environment, like a forest or the ocean, which absorbs more carbon than it releases and thereby lowers the concentration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

“For this year, we target to produce and plant another 100,000 seedlings of mixed timber and fruit trees. We are also maintaining the 400,000 seedlings currently in the nursery which were planted from previous years,” RAFI Project Manager Reu Zabala said.

Team members from TSI and RAFI, together with partners from Matigsalug Council of Elders Marilog District Davao City Inc. and Matigsalug Manobo Tribal People Council of Elders Davao Inc., recently visited the existing sites in Marilog to check on the progress of the previously planted indigenous trees.

“The CSMP project has made a great impact on our community, and gave us an opportunity to rehabilitate and restore our ancestral domain,” MAMATRIPCEDI Project Administrator Datu Oscar Sarahan said.

Representatives from MACOEMMADACCI and MAMATRIPCEDI will undergo various trainings on project monitoring, farming and carbon computing this year as part of the CSMP program.

To date, TSI has planted and grown more than 700,000 trees in Marilog District, Davao City under the CSMP. This program is a testament to TSI’s support to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, particularly on Responsible Consumption and Production and Decent Work and Economic Growth.

AboitizPower subsidiary TSI operates the 300-megawatt (2×150 MW) Davao coal-fired power plant located along the boundary of Davao City and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. It utilizes the Circulating Fluidized Bed technology and is the first plant in the Philippines to build a “coal dome” to safely store coal and prevent fugitive dust emissions.

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