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One Tree is Too Many | Rethink the Ilocos Solar Power Project: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

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One Tree is Too Many

Rethink the Ilocos Solar Power Project: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

Ilocos Norte has long been known for its pristine environment, from clean, sandy beaches to lush mountain forests. For so long the province had been spared the environmental ravages of mining and logging.  Until now.

An improperly planned and rushed approach to a renewable energy development project threatens to destroy our beautiful landscape and disrupt our resilience potential against future extreme weather and climate change impacts like future droughts, super-typhoons, flooding, extreme heat and fluctuating weather temperatures, health and the liveability of our province. Projects such as the Energy Development Corporation (EDC) operated windmills in Burgos reportedly led to the destruction of approximately 5000 trees and additional thousands of trees that were previously cut to make way for the Northwind Renewable Energy windmill project in Pagudpud. This brute force and one-size-fits-all approach to Renewable Energy Development (RED) reveals a rather peculiar relationship of RED projects to biodiversity, aesthetics, beauty, culture, conservation, local health, future generations interest and so forth(cut the trees to make room for RED). 

Now, a proposed solar power plant threatens the destruction of another 600 trees and a potential 1,281 more trees if proponents apply for expansion in the immediate future in Barangay Bimmanga, Currimao, Ilocos Norte. Among the trees to be cut are agoho, ipil-ipil, talisay, camachile, mango, lanete, kakawate, cashew, tamarind, duhat and siniguelas.

 Can we not produce clean energy projects without destroying the environment these projects are supposed to preserve and protect? Is there not a logical, properly planned project that can implement these renewable energy projects without destroying our trees? Or are our government officials salivating too much over the projects’ economic payoffs and the prospect of a quick profit?  With so much barren and unused land, why sacrifice our life-giving forests? What’s the rush? If we’re going to design a green policy, why can’t we take the time to design it right?

WE DEMAND:

1.      Stop the destruction of our forests NOW!

2.       Locate an alternative, more appropriate site where a solar power project’s impact is minimally invasive.

We cannot oversimplify a complex renewable energy development project. The current project design is not inclusive; it disowns and rejects the forests for the sake of energy and further disregards plausible impacts to health, resiliency, oxygen generation, aesthetics, etc. Whether intentional or not, the project is depletive and can only result in future damages from tree cutting that are certain and severe.

We all want to conserve, protect,and rehabilitate (CPR) our already fragile and degraded Philippine environment, and thus we must find a way for renewable energy projects trees to co-exist for the sake of future generations of Filipinos.

Petition signed by:

Fr. Robert Reyes, OFM
Environmental crusader, green running priest
Lead co-convenor, National Coalition to Save the Trees (NCST)

Most Reverend Broderick S. Pabillo, D.D.
Auxiliary Bishop of Manila
Chairman, Permanent Committee on Public Affairs

Steve Barreiro
Journalist

Karl Lenin Benigno
Political Science professor

Shermon Cruz, MAPA
Director of Center for Engaged Foresight

Mitch Esmino
Journalist

Tina Tan
Co-founder LEAD Movement

Sherwin De Vera
Coordinator,Defend Ilocos

Patria Gwen M.L. Borcena, M.A.
Environmental sociologist
Executive Director, Greenresearch

Bernard Ver
Journalist

Rod Pingao
Environmental Science Professor



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Edna Kidd needs your help with “Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte, Municipal Government of Currimao, Department of Environment and Natural Resources: One Tree is Too Many | Rethink the Ilocos Solar Power Project: One Step Forward, Two Steps Back”. Join Edna and 336 supporters today.