By Marcelle P. Villegas
There are numerous entrepreneurs and environmentalists who have concluded from their research and studies that the bamboo is an excellent choice in a reforestation project. Last year, CTP Construction and Mining Corporation launched their Bamboo Plantation as part of their reforestation program.
CTP Construction and Mining Corporation operates the Adlay Mining Project and Dahican Nickel Project in Surigao Del Sur. The company actively participates in the National Greening Program (NGP) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
From our previous articles about CTP Construction and Mining Corporation (PRJ Issues 2 and 3 – 2018), we had featured the company’s reforestation project and their notable implementation of environmental protection and rehabilitation in their mine site.
The company launched Project Gaia in 2017 where their team is composed of women from Barangay Adlay who are assigned for the company’s reforestation activities (plant nursery operations, planting, landscaping and maintenance).
The company has a variety of tree species in their reforestation program but why is the bamboo a special part of this endeavour? It is a grass, not a tree. Trees are traditionally planted to create or rehabilitate a forest, so why is a grass like bamboo an excellent choice in a reforestation planning, according to the bamboo experts? Mr Leo Dominguez, President of OLLI Consulting Group, Inc. and an advocate for bamboo planting states that there is an advantage in planting bamboos instead of trees. “I am a lawyer in the responsible mining industry. Since 2015, I have been advocating to the mining industry the planting of bamboo.
Traditionally, the mining industry has planted trees in the rehabilitation of mine sites. By law, mining companies are required to spend 1.5% of their OPEX on SDMP or Social Development Management Programs. Trees are highly regulated. You cannot cut a tree without permits from the DENR." He further explains that, “Bamboo is a grass. Consequently, bamboo is not subjected to the same burdensome regulatory protocols as trees.”
Additionally, the bamboo is very effective in cleaning the air compared with other plants or trees. According to the study of Mr Dominguez, bamboo works 400 times better than trees in terms of carbon sequestration. Mr Dominguez was a presenter at the Mining Philippines 2018 last September and in his report, he featured photos of CTPCMC as one of the mining companies who are currently advocates of planting bamboo for environmental and socio-economic reasons. Bamboos are also fast-growing, low-maintenance, resilient plants with high survival rate. Eventually when the bamboos grow in height, their upper stalks may be cut down, leaving the lower stalks on the grown for it to regrow again. The bamboo can be utilised for other purposes like as building materials for houses, furniture, bicycle framework, and more. It has a lifespan of 80 to 100 years. Therefore, they can provide livelihood to mining communities for decades. This is a remarkable benefit that not all plant or tree varieties may provide.
In order to establish a mother source of bamboo for future bamboo production of the company, last September 2018, a total of 9 seedlings of bamboo planted at Area 1 (rehabilitated area) for initial stage. Species planted were Laak, Kajali and Guadua. These were planted by Mr Clarence “Carlo” J. Pimentel, Jr. (President and CEO of CTP Construction and Mining Corp. and co-founder of the Philippine Nickel Industry Association), Atty. Ross Romanillos and Engr. Charlo R. Basadre. Today, there are 580 bamboo seedlings produced from the nursery of the company with Laak species.
From the startup nursery, CTPCMC Bamboo plantation was finally created in October 2017 where the planting on site started the following month. There were 301 bamboo seedlings planted in Dahican Nickel Project (DNP) and 300 for Adlay, therefore a total of 601 bamboo seedlings planted. They planted Giant Bamboo species at the 2B rehabilitated area of the mine site. Bamboo production and planting is a continuous activity as part of the company’s reforestation program.
CTPCMC is 100% Filipino owned and has been operating since 2007. It is one of the top 5 nickel mines in the Philippines. It is also the second nickel mine in the Philippines that was awarded a triple ISO certifications namely, ISO 9001, ISO 14001, and OHSAS certifications last 2016 and in February 2018. It upgraded to latest versions namely ISO 9001:2015 (Quality Management System) and ISO 14001:2015 (Environmental Management System) along with its existing OHSAS 18001:2007, certified by TÜV Rheinland.