MANILA, Philippines - Norwegian-based Intex Resources Philippines Inc. and Aglubang Mining Corporation have launched the Livelihood Enhancement Agro-Forestry Project (LEAF) which entails replanting of various varieties of trees in line with their corporate goal of propagating safe and green mining.
Representatives of the church and local government officials witnessed the project’s formal launching at Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro.
The tree planting project is not only meant for the conservation and rehabilitation of the ecological system, but also to provide community livelihood as well. To date, the proponents have planted about 500,000 seedlings from their nurseries and planted over 300,000 trees. They have responded swiftly to the call of the government to participate in its greening program by committing, through the Chamber of Mines, to plant 600,000 trees.
Both companies are affiliates of Intex Resources ASA, a publicly listed company based in Oslo, Norway. They are the main proponents of the Mindoro nickel project, which, if realized, will bring an investment of $2.5 billion and generate 10,000 direct employments during construction and 2,000 direct employments during operation with its attendant multiplier effect.
The definitive feasibility study has shown that the project design, in comparison with others, offers exceptional environmental benefits by having the lowest carbon emission in the industry. The project will ensure a stable supply of nickel ore for many decades to come and with a processing being independent on fossil fuels for energy. The project offers clear benefits for efforts of reducing effects of the global climate changes.
The LEAF Project is designed as a multi-story, “Alley Cropping Agro-forestry System “to maximize land use through a mix of short, medium and long-term crops with high-value industrial potential such as Rubber-Banana/Cassava-Coffee-Falcata Mix Agro Forestry. While it aims to provide both food security and income to the impact communities it will also target to contribute to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources’ (DENR) National Greening Program, climate change mitigation efforts, carbon sequestration and other sustainable livelihood programs.
The company’s initial commitment is to establish a P5 million fund for the promotion of the technology through technical training, capacity building, marketing assistance and the provision of seedlings of various forest and fruit trees, as well as industrial tree crops targeting at least one million seedlings and the development of a 10 hectare demonstration farm in the Provinces of Occidental and Oriental Mindoro. It will work in partnership with the local government units, DENR, DA, DAR, NCIP, DSWD and community-based organizations in the implementation of the program.
Project LEAF is designed to offer environmental benefits to the community by providing the local farmers food security and income as initial benefit on the first and second year’s harvest, leading to an additional income between P20,000 to P30,000 on the third year and escalating to as much as P285,000 projected income beginning on the 6th year up to the life of the main crops of 30-50 years.