When the TSI baseload power project was approved, we immediately worked on the CSMP (Carbon Sink Management Program). We knew then that this was not going to be a one-year, two-year project. This would be a long-term project that would require resources and involve the government, the company, and the community, and we readily accepted the challenge.
— Benjamin A. Cariaso, Jr., COO, Therma South
Before it became known as Davao River, it was called ‘Salug’, which means river. It is a vibrant tributary that traverses Davao, Bukidnon, Cotabato, and Lanao. Many centuries ago, an ancient tribe of indigenous people settled along its banks, carving 40,000 hectares of riverland and forests that became their ancestral home and is now an important watershed system in Mindanao. Preserving the Matigsalug community means restoring a dying way of life that is deeply rooted in nature, a way of life that is being threatened by illegal logging and slash-and-burn farming.
We are extremely grateful for the kindness and generosity of Therma South and the Aboitiz Foundation in supporting our tribe’s cause of cultural preservation and environmental protection. Rest assured that we will take care of this project as a way of showing our high regard for our tribe’s friendship with TSI.
— Datu Juanito Mandahay, Matigsalug Council of Elders
From the dialogues with the Matigsalug elders came the idea of the Carbon Sink Management Program (A carbon sink is a forest, ocean, or any other natural environment ,which has the ability to absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere). With the help of Therma South, Inc. (TSI), a carbon catchment buffer zone of around 1,000 hectares will be developed in the Marilog district by growing and maintaining one million indigenous tree species within a 10-year period.
To ensure its lasting impact, TSI is also building the tribe’s capability to take care of the watershed through community-based forest management trainings and livelihood development assistance. The company recently partnered with the Department of Trade and Industry for the distribution of sewing machines, conduct of trainings, and market linkages that will allow the Matigsalug women to earn additional income from their ethnic-inspired ready-to-wear products.
By partnering with our stakeholders, we demonstrate that energy development and environmental protection can go hand-in-hand.
Learn more about TSI’s carbon sink program. Watch the video below: