Some 70 volunteers, composed of employees from GMEC and Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office and fisherfolks, planted 500 seedlings and 500 propagules of mangrove at a five-hectare area adopted by the coal-fired power plant in Tubo – Tubo at Sitio Pulo in Orani last Friday.
GMEC signed a memorandum of agreement with the Provincial Government of Bataan, Municipality of Orani, Department of Environment and Natural Resources, and Tubo-Tubo Fisherfolks Association for the establishment of the Baka1Bataan mangrove adoption and protection initiative.
GMEC AVP for community relations Arcel Madrid said this all started with a dream of GMEC, PGENRO, and the Tubo-Tubo fisherfolks led by barangay chairman Jose Raymundo. “We are excited to see the progress of this project, and we intend to accompany you all in the realization of our future plans in this area.”
GMEC also plans to provide the locality with a potential alternative livelihood opportunity through fostering healthy breeding grounds for crustaceans like crabs, shrimps, and other seafood as well as create a sustainable flourishing fishing zone. In the future, they envision the area to be one of the premier tourist destinations in the region. The project is worth P6.8 million for a duration of five years with an option for an extension.
GMEC believes that mangrove forests play a vital role in mitigating climate change through carbon sequestration. Mangroves absorb carbon three to five times more than mountain forests. Mangrove also help protect against oceanic natural disasters, such as floods, storm surges, and wave gushes. Sitio Pulo had experienced its benefits first-hand during the onslaught of Typhoon Egay and Typhoon Falcon earlier this year. GMEC fuels analyst Rodolfo Dela Cruz Jr. considered planting mangroves not just about putting trees in the ground but an investment in the future.