• Philippine Resources

Nickel industry beefs up greening efforts

The local nickel industry continues to strengthen greening efforts as part of its thrust towards responsible and sustainable mining in the country.

The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA) and its seven-member companies have planted 5.3 million trees in Caraga and Palawan as part of ongoing progressive rehabilitation and reforestation in several mining sites.

The number of trees planted has risen by 27 percent from 4.2 million in June last year as part of the sector’s environmental protection and enhancement program.

“We contribute at least three to five percent of our operating cost to this. No other industry is mandated to do this,” PNIA executive director Charmaine Capili said.

On top of current reforestation efforts, mining companies are mandated to implement the temporary revegetation program.

PNIA member companies have planted over 284 hectares of various vegetation and spent P45 million.

“We are required to plant 100 trees for every one tree we cut down. Our industry has made continued efforts to rehabilitate the areas where we mine since we started operations. With the ongoing TRP, we can provide short term vegetation growth that can control soil erosion and assist communities during natural calamities,” Capili said.

Endemic trees and grass species have been planted since the start of rehabilitation phase including agoho, mahogany, giant bamboo, and narra, as well as fruit-bearing trees like calamansi, cashew, jackfruit and cacao, among others.

Cash crops such as rubber, coffee, vegetables and herbal plants are also grown in the mine sites’ respective nurseries.

PNIA’s bamboo reforestation also serves as a complement to ongoing reforestation and rehabilitation programs.

To date, more than 22,000 seedlings have been planted by PNIA member companies.

Apart from ecological rehabilitation, the program also provides employment to residents and to the indigenous community, and creates livelihood programs to strengthen the local economy.

The reforestation program is part of the nickel industry’s commitment and contribution to the government’s national greening program, which aims to revegetate some 1.2 million hectares of “unproductive, denuded and degraded” forest land nationwide from 2017-2022.

Read more at https://www.philstar.com/business/agriculture/2019/07/21/1936380/nickel-industry-beefs-greening-efforts?fbclid=IwAR0wOQOMapLIYDF4DYPyW4XeFueT8oBuGcc2AiSCUQmAGuPH3YICZMgPLP4#7xzs5SLqbqfTsh9W.99


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