Road to 1M: Therma South, RAFI continues efforts to expand carbon sink

May 16, 2022

Road to 1M: Therma South, RAFI continues efforts to expand carbon sink

Despite the pandemic, AboitizPower subsidiary Therma South, Inc. (TSI), together with Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc. (RAFI) and its project partners, continues to make strides toward their goal of planting 1 million trees by 2024 as part of its Carbon Sink Management Program (CSMP).

“The goal of the CSMP is to establish a long-lasting and significant strategy for carbon sequestration to mitigate the emissions of the power plant, while enjoining our indigenous communities to be partners in environmental stewardship, forest protection and conservation, and working towards sustainable development goals such as life on land ,” said TSI Reputation and Stakeholder Management Supervisor JK Huyatid.

Established in 2015, the CSMP aims to create a carbon sink by forging partnerships with various indigenous peoples’ groups and communities in Davao City to reach the 1M tree target. A carbon sink is any natural environment, like a forest or the ocean, which absorbs more carbon than it releases and thereby lowers the concentration of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.

"For this year, we target to produce and plant another 100,000 seedlings of mixed timber and fruit trees," said RAFI Project Manager Reu Zabala. "We are also maintaining the 400,000 seedlings currently in the nursery which were planted from previous years.”

Team members from TSI and RAFI, together with partners from Matigsalug Council of Elders Marilog District Davao City, Inc. (MACOEMMADACCI) and Matigsalug Manobo Tribal People Council of Elders Davao, Inc. (MAMATRIPCEDI), recently visited the existing sites in Marilog to check on the progress of the previously planted indigenous trees.

“The CSMP project has made a great impact on our community, and gave us an opportunity to rehabilitate and restore our ancestral domain," MAMATRIPCEDI Project Administrator Datu Oscar Sarahan.

Representatives from MACOEMMADACCI and MAMATRIPCEDI are also set to undergo various trainings on project monitoring, farming, and carbon computing, among others, this year as part of the CSMP program.

To date, TSI has planted and grown more than 700,000 trees in Marilog District, Davao City under the CSMP. This program is a testament to TSI’s support to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations, particularly on Responsible Consumption and Production and Decent Work and Economic Growth.

AboitizPower subsidiary TSI operates the 300-megawatt (2x150 MW) Davao coal-fired power plant located along the boundary of Davao City and Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur. It utilizes the Circulating Fluidized Bed (CFB) technology and it is the first plant in the Philippines to build a “coal dome” to safely store coal and prevent fugitive dust emissions.