35,000 New Trees in Just Two Years of Canatuan Ops!


16,208 new trees planted in 2004
?? 2,128 trees replanted
17,000 seedlings banked for 2005 program
More to come

TVI Resource Development (Phils) Inc. – the Canatuan Project – successfully planted a total of 16,208 trees and replanted 2,128 more, in its tree planting and reforestation program for 2004 … and we have even bigger plans for 2005.

The Tree Nursery currently has an inventory of 17,000 new trees scheduled for planting in 2005, with more in the pipeline.

“This program is an excellent example of how we as a mining company are able to take advantage of our project to make a positive contribution to the area, and to the environment,” said Canatuan Mine Manager Yulo Perez. “Not only are we building and improving roads and bridges in this mountainous area, but we’re bringing international environmental management standards to the process as we do it. We will not only install infrastructure here, but a `green’ infrastructure.”

The program involves planting trees along all the company’s road works, to ensure the prevention of erosion as well as to advance reforestation. Erosion caused by slash-and-burn agriculture in the past, has been the major cause of silt in Mindanao’s rivers, as well as slope instability on the hillsides.

TVI’s Environment Manager, Fidel Bontao, observes, “Our tree planting is so important because of the history in this region of slash-and-burn agriculture. This program is adding to the training that our Community Development team is doing, helping the Subanen tribe develop techniques of upland rice and vegetable cultivation, that will be sustainable, so they will not find future generations needing to resort again to slash-and-burn.”

Adds TVI’s Subana Forester Gema Dandana, “we’re just getting going. We’re planning to acquire more seedlings to increase our program even further for 2005.”

Ms. Dandana pointed out that the company has already started to reclaim mined areas by planting trees at the top of Canatuan Mountain where the operations started last June. A total of 650 new trees have been already been planted in the mine area.

As with any development project, some trees will have to be cut to make way for the roads, buildings, housing, and tailings containments associated with ongoing operations. But in contrast to the more than 16,000 trees planted, the total number cut in 2004 was 45 trees.

“Mining is not just the extraction of a resource for the people of the country,” says Mr. Perez. “In Canatuan, we will also be leaving the area with significantly more trees than when we arrived, and the community will have learned the basis of sustainable agriculture and livestock rearing … putting an end to slash-and-burn.”

The 2004 program included 13,678 trees along roads built, improved or maintained by the company, 1,080 new trees in Tailings Dam area, 280 trees at the Canatuan Mill, the Subanen Community Co-op and the Community School, and 520 at the company’s demonstration farm (in addition to the 650 rehabilitation program trees in the mine area).