An Integrated Approach to Turtle Conservation

ACEN, through its wind farms in Ilocos Norte, North Luzon Renewables and NorthWind, has taken significant strides in boosting its turtle conservation program in the area by recently partnering with the Marine Wildlife Watch of the Philippines (MWWP), an organization advocating for the conservation and protection of marine-wildlife and their habitats.

Aside from the ongoing awareness and training programs on environmental preservation and biodiversity being conducted by ACEN, through the new partnership with MWWP, a Pawikan Conservation Action Plan will now serve as a framework for the company, its partners and stakeholders in the roll out of an enhanced turtle conservation program.

Through a comprehensive review of socio-ecological baseline studies, monitoring reports and existing training programs, as well as field visits and meetings with local stakeholders, MWWP will be able to provide guidelines on threat management and resource protection. The consultant will also assess current capacities of the local communities to be able to design appropriate training programs and workshops for a fortified program.

The coastal communities in Ilocos Norte are known habitats of marine turtles. In Bangui Bay, three out of five species found in the Philippines were recorded to have bred in the 9-km shoreline: the endangered olive ridley turtle, the green turtle, and the critically endangered hawksbill turtle. Through awareness campaigns and continuous coordination with the locals, the danger of poaching and smuggling of the eggs have significantly decreased, with the residents acting as guardians of the endangered species, becoming partners of ACEN in turtle conservation.

Adopting a 10-hectare Mangrove Plantation in Calatagan

To help protect the Calatagan coastline in Batangas, South Luzon Thermal Energy Corporation (SLTEC) has collaborated with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to support and monitor the growth of a 10-hectare mangrove plantation in the province.

The mangrove adoption underpins the National Greening Program of the DENR that aims to onboard responsible stewards of nature to restore, rehabilitate and develop the wide expanses of wetlands.

As a critical component of the Philippine marine ecosystems, mangroves are rich in biodiversity. They grow to have tangled root systems that form dense thickets, protecting coastlines from wind and waves during typhoons and other natural disasters while also serving as fish nurseries for many species of marine life. The number of mangroves in the country and around the world have dwindled at an alarming rate due to threats such as pollution, habitat destruction and overpopulation.

Restoring the mangrove forests have immense ecological benefits and will also help mitigate the effects of climate change. With the public and private sectors coming together in a fruitful collaboration for the environment, the local community are ensured of its success.

The mangrove adoption is the latest foray of the power plant in strengthening its initiatives anchored on sustainability. Previously, SLTEC had adopted a 1 km stretch of Sinisian River as part of the Adopt-a-Water-Body Program of the DENR to restore the environmental quality of creeks and rivers In the country. In 2018, SLTEC was recognized by the Environment Management Bureau of the DENR for the plant’s Best Available Practices geared towards sustainability.