The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Region 2 under the leadership of Regional Executive Director Gwendolyn Bambalan has lauded the FCF Minerals for its mine rehabilitation project that established more than 600 hectares forest plantation with over 3.6 million trees planted in the province of Nueva Vizcaya.
“Your intent is really rehabilitation because you are bringing back the original and previous ecosystem by planting wildlings in the area,” said Director Bambalan.
In the mine rehabilitation fund committee (MRFC) meeting held yesterday in Santiago City, Isabela, Superintendent Jomar Bravo of FCF Minerals reported that their company is now 131.92 % compliant in its obligation of replacing two hectares for every hectare of cleared or disturbed during mining operation which is equivalent to one is to two ratio.
He also added their ongoing compliance to produce and plant 100 trees as replacement for every single tree cut during mining operation.
In Oct. 2020 and last June 1, RED Bambalan forged partnership with the said mining company through a Memorandum of Agreement to replace the trees cut in its operation per approved Special Tree Cutting and Earth-Balling Permit issued by the DENR.
The regional environment chief also emphasized that mine rehabilitation is one component of responsible mining. "In as much as we want social and economic development, let us also balance it by ensuring the protection of our environment," Director Bambalan and MRFC co-chairperson stressed as she assured for an enhanced mine environmental protection projects with the active involvement of the mining companies in Cagayan Valley Region.
Included in the FCF commitment is the rehabilitation of National Greening Program of the Department. This will also form part of the livelihood of the People’s Organization beneficiaries and surface owners who are tapped to maintain and protect the reforestation program funded by the mining firm.
Meanwhile, Mines and Geosciences Bureau Regional Director and MRFC chairperson Mario Ancheta also encouraged the mining company to continue with its rehabilitation efforts.
Part of the company’s rehabilitation process includes topsoil restoration through erosion and sedimentation control. Planting followed after a month where indigenous tree and bamboo species were planted.
The company is also currently conducting further studies to ensure speedy restoration of the areas affected by mining operations.#