After planting 2,200 seedlings in 2018, Benguet-based renewable energy company SN Aboitiz Power (SNAP-Benguet) has brought its total number of seedlings planted to 145,000 since 2009. This is part of the company’s sustainability program, and in support of the AboitizPower’s Aboitiz Passion to Agroforestry and Reforestation to Keep (Apark) Program.
Since 2009, SNAP-Benguet has continuously partnered with its host communities, peoples organizations (PO), and indigenous peoples organizations (IPO) for the preservation, conservation, and protection of the Ambuklao and Binga Watersheds, including its natural resources.
The tree planting activities engage volunteers from within and outside SNAP-Benguet to plant endemic seedlings such as bamboo, Benguet pine, cypress, Arabica and Robusta coffee, among others, in protected areas. SNAP-Benguet also provides support funds for the seedling production program of the Baguio Regreening Movement.
Meanwhile, through a Technical Cooperation Agreement, SNAP-Benguet and the National Power Corporation also established a community-based forest fire protection team and implemented protection activities within the 2.5-kilometer radius from the high-water mark of the Ambuklao and Binga reservoirs. In partnership with the Ambuclao Coffee Growers Association, Tinongdan IPO, and Shakila ni Ikulos IPO, SNAP-Benguet cares, maintains and protects adjacent areas of the reservoir and various watershed areas through the establishment of fire lines and greenbelt areas.
“SNAP’s reforestation, tree planting, and forest protection activities aim to maintain the integrity of the watersheds to supply our water needs, and help us in providing clean, reliable energy to the Luzon Grid. This year, SNAP-Benguet aims to plant at least 15,000 seedlings in Ambuklao and Binga areas,” said SNAP Group’s Vice President for Corporate Services Atty. Mike Hosillos.
SNAP-Benguet is a joint venture between SN Power of Norway and AboitizPower. It operates the 105-MW Ambuklao hydro; and the 140-MW Binga hydro both in the Benguet Province./Karmina M. Alejandro