ZAMBOANGA CITY: The Atro Mining-Vitali, Inc. (AMVI) has planted more than 52,000 seedlings of assorted tree species in and around the Vitali District since 2012, creating green and lush environs to the once balding mountains in the area.
The reforestation program of the AMVI also showed that the planted seedlings have 85 percent survival rate—higher than the 70 percent benchmark of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR).
“We were able to plant at least 52,000 Acacia Mangium, Narra, and Mahogany in and outside the mining claim since the company established its pilot nursery in February 2012,” AMVI Community Relations Officer Francis Malones said in a statement on Tuesday.
Malones, who is also the AMVI Pollution Control Officer, said their reforestation campaign covered some 130 hectares land area with a ratio of 400 seedlings per hectare.
Malones said the numbers of trees planted overshoot the target set by the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB), which was to plant assorted seedlings in 20 hectares land area.
Malones said AMVI’s Reforestation Program is also in line with the government’s National Greening Program (NGP).
He pointed out that the accomplishment was made possible through the establishment of the company’s in-house nursery, which nurtures seedlings to be planted in none mineralize zones.
He said the nursery at present houses various seedling species such as: Acacia Mangium, 5,000; rubber seedlings, 2,000; Mahogany, 1,000; and, Narra 500.
Malones said among the areas they have already reforested were the riverbanks of Campo Uno, Camp Swimming, Tamion, Vitali, Camalig, and SPDA, among others.
He said they had also conducted trees planting activities by the roadsides of Merloquet Falls, and donated seedling to the different schools in Vitali District.
He said more tree planting activities are being scheduled for the month of June to commemorate the Environment Month Celebration in line with Presidential Proclamation No. 237.
“This month we will be planting more trees along the riverbank and we will be raising another batch of fruit trees, rubber, bamboo, and forest species in our nursery area,” he added.
The AMVI is an iron ore mining company, which has an Exclusive Mines Operating Agreement with Hard Rock Mineral Trading, Inc. (HRMTI) that grants exclusive rights to conduct mining operations within the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement (MPSA) area.
The MPSA area has a total area of 2,077.3084 hectares located in Upper Tagpangi, Barangay Vitali, east of this city.