Communities commemorate Adopt-A-River observance and World Water Day
Santiago and Tubay, Agusan del Norte / May 2017 – The annual commemoration for the community’s awareness and clean-up activities under the Adopt-a-River Program remains one of AMVI’s main advocacies and a testament to the company’s commitment to responsible mining. Since the start of its operations, Agata Mining Ventures Inc. (AMVI) – a joint nickel laterite mining project of TVI Resource Development Phiippines Inc. (TVIRD) and MRL Philippines – has been a strong partner of the community, particularly in cleaning its waterways in Barangays Tagbuyacan and E. Morgado in Santiago Municipality.
Parallel to this is its equally strong commitment to protecting marine sanctuaries along the coastline in Barangays Lawigan, Tagbuyacan and Tagpangahoy in Tubay Municipality of this province.
Since its launch on Earth Day 2009, the adopt-a-river program of AMVI has been expanded to include the participation of its host communities. Also since then, the proponents fostered community empowerment, generated livelihood through agro-forestry, and conducted clean-up drives and re-greening activities along the Kalinawan riverside.
As one of the life-giving natural formations within the Agata MPSA, it is also but natural for the mining company to make good on its ongoing commitment for the care and protection of the 29-kilometer Kalinawan River.
River clean-up drive
“Since the early stage of AMVI, our rural communities have been enlightened by the importance of solid waste management. The clean-up activities spearheaded by AMVI and staff reinforce self-discipline and constant awareness on cleaning our bodies of water – Kalinawan River and its tributaries,” expressed Barangay Tagbuycan Captain Carlito Balinos.
On its third year, the company gained the support of more than 40 residents who joined the cleanup of the creeks and collected residual wastes along the riverside – which were deposited in the newly built Material Recovery Facility (MRF) installed by AMVI.
There are presently three MRFs serving as storage areas installed in its immediate communities in Barangays Tagbuyacan, E. Morgado and Barangay Colorado. These are aimed to fully implement waste segregation and proper management in the community level.
AMVI continues to engage the local government units, particularly the barangays, in the regular upkeep of the program. Quarterly inspection and monitoring activities are jointly conducted by AMVI’s environment team and local barangay officials.
Kalinawan River – its name meaning “clarity” – is one of the province’s cleanest inland bodies of water. The stretch of pristine and picturesque river is Lake Mainit’s only outlet and passes through AMVI’s host municipalities before it finally empties into Butuan bay.
It is also one of the oldest trading routes in the Philippines and has been the indigenous Mamanwas’ fishing ground since time immemorial.
A long-term commitment
AMVI has stepped-up its efforts to enhance the natural foliage along the tributary’s riverside community of Barangay La Paz in Santiago, which is one of three municipalities covered by the company’s MPSA.
Riverside reforestation activities in 2016 brought the cumulative effort to a total of 9,484 trees along Kalinawan – or an average of 860 trees per kilometer under AMVI’s adopted area under the program. At present, AMVI’s planting activities has a survival rate of 86%.
World Water Day
Mining personnel also took time-out to clean the coastal area near the company’s Payong-payong Causeway where it conducts loading operations all year round – and through which AMVI accommodates vessels from its direct markets in Asia.
Key officers and personnel commemorated the annual celebration of World Water Day by cleaning the immediate coastal waters in order to remove residual waste in the area. Over 50 staff came together and removed debris and waste brought by the rainy season and occurrences of typhoons. During the event, the participants were likewise reminded of Agata’s strong commitment towards its ISO 14001-2005 Certification – which it obtained in 2016.
“We should always remind ourselves that (AMVI’s) ISO Certificate is a manifestation to everyone that responsible mining is part of AMVI’s highest standards,” said Forester Jacob.
In past years, AMVI and its principal companies have been given several accolades by the PMSEA and DENR for its dedication towards responsible mining, most notably for its successful Coral Reef Relocation Project near its causeway – a significant first for the Philippine mining industry.