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Philippines

Old Bulatukan

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Conservation benefit: Protection of 744 acres of watershed forest for 30 years

Community benefit: Micro-hydro power generator and fruit tree nursery

Date Approved: 06.2008

Energy

This project promotes sustainable energy production, helping reduce the emission of greenhouse gases and slowing global warming.

Forest

This project protects forest, preventing the release of greenhouse gases and reducing erosion that damages coastal and ocean ecosystems.

Sitio Malumpini is an isolated upland community in the barangay (village) of Old Bulatukan. It sits on the slopes of Mt. Apo, the tallest mountain in the Philippines at an elevation of over 10,000 feet. The area has some of the highest land-based biological diversity in the Philippines. It is home to many threatened and endangered plant and animal species, including the critically endangered Philippines eagle, a monkey-eating raptor. The whole of Mt. Apo is already a protected area by virtue of a 1936 edict, but very little enforcement has taken place.

The 65 Manobo households in the community rely on kerosene for lighting and fuel wood for cooking. Seacology will fund a micro-hydro plant, which will provide clean, sustainable power. The Seacology grant will also fund a fruit tree nursery. In return, the community will protect 744 acres of forest land within their ancestral domain for 30 years.

The project will be administered by YAMOG, a partner organization of Green Empowerment. The fruit trees, to grow highly marketable mangosteens and lanzones, will be planted on existing cropland, away from the protected area. YAMOG will provide technical assistance with planting, growing, and marketing the crops.

Project Updates

June 2010

Ferdie Marcelo reports that the micro-hydro power station is in operation 24 hours per day, but there is a down time of about 24 hours per month for inspection and servicing. The coffee trees have not yet borne fruit, but beans from backyard trees are already being husked and roasted on the electric coffee husker and drier. There are no reports of poaching in the watershed, which the community’s forest guards continually patrol.

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October 2009

The nursery has been completed, with the help of about 25 Manobo households. It now houses abaca and coffee tree seedlings that will be transferred into the watershed area.

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June 2009

Construction of the weir/intake, headrace canal, forebay tank, pressure pipes and power house was completed in April. The turbine was also manufactured and delivery to the site is being scheduled. The transmission lines and poles from the powerhouse to the community have also been procured and are being set up. Some delays are being expected as rains and terrain continue to hamper progress. Nevertheless, testing and commissioning of the micro-hydro power station is planned for July 2009. The nursery is still under construction but already houses about 10,000 seedlings of indigenous trees. Also, about 8,000 seedlings have been planted in the watershed by the community.

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January 2009

In August 2008, field representative Ferdie Marcelo visited the forest and future site of the micro-hydro power generator and discussed the project with area leaders. The project began in November 2008. It should take about nine months to complete the construction and establish the tree nursery.

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Full or partial funding for this project provided by Seacology UK.

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