File photo from NAC.

Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC) reports that a total of 234,823 trees were planted within its mining camps in the year 2022 alone, and the company has also given a donation of 185,466 seedlings to the Department of Natural Resources (DENR) in support of the National Greening Program (NGP).

NAC noted in a statement that President Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. recently issued a challenged to plant more trees as a means of fending off the dangers of climate change, and it is consistently demonstrating that it is involved in the goal.

Engr. Remedios Collado-Camo, NAC AVP for Industrial Safety/OIC, Environment Sector, claims that a significant aspect of the operations of the mining companies that make up the NAC group is the production of seedlings.

“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,” said Collado-Camo.

“For 2022 alone, we estimate some Php8.5 million 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,” she added.

The Philippine Mining Act of 1995 requires mining companies to replant 100 trees for each one they remove.

In addition to the commitment of mining companies to the revitalization of the communities in which they are active, this is an element of the mining industry rehabilitation programs that are mandated by the Mining Act.

Producing seedlings with the assistance of the local communities and donating thousands of them to the DENR is a way for NAC and its subsidiaries to demonstrate their serious commitment to environmental programs and to go above and beyond what is required by the law.

Jomer Tiamson, a forester and Envi Manager for Hinatuan Mining Corp., a subsidiary of NAC based in Tagana-an Surigao del Norte, said that over the course of the previous year, there was an increase in the number of requests for seedlings of fruit-bearing trees, which are significantly more expensive to produce than seedlings of forest trees.

“The people in the communities are more interested in fruit bearing trees to plant in NGP-identified areas,” said Tiamson.

Tiamson noted that the fact that the cost of producing a seedling for a forest tree is estimated to be Php10 while the cost of producing a seedling for a fruit tree is estimated to be Php30 each further demonstrates NAC’s dedication to the greening programs.