Tokyo—TOYOTA MOTOR CORPORATION (TMC) announces that on December 20, 2009, its joint tree-planting project in the Philippines obtained a gold rating under the widely used, international Climate, Community and Biodiversity Project Design Standards (CCB Standards). The Philippine Peñablanca Sustainable Reforestation Project has been running since September 2007 in the town of Peñablanca, Cagayan Province in the north of the island of Luzon, with Phase 1 of the project calling for 1,772 hectares of land to be afforested over a three-year period. With this recognition of the project’s quality and with TMC’s evaluation of the project’s steady results, TMC has decided to implement Phase 2, which calls for an additional 728 hectares to be afforested between August 2010 and July 2013.
The CCB Standards—implemented by The Climate, Community and Biodiversity Alliance (CCBA), a partnership of NGOs and multinational corporations—are used to conduct multi-faceted evaluations of forest preservation projects. TMC and Conservation International (CI), an environmental NGO and one of TMC’s partners in the project, have, since the project’s inception, sought validation under the standards, which are the most established among forestry project certification systems. The standards also enable evaluation of forestry initiatives from a multifaceted perspective, taking not only CO2 absorption but also preservation of biodiversity and contribution to the lives of local communities into account.
TMC runs the Peñablanca project jointly with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources in the Philippines, the Peñablanca municipal government and CI. The project seeks to establish a system that both achieves successful reforestation and supports the livelihood of local communities. Thus, in addition to planting indigenous native species to restore the tropical forest, the project has also started establishing a forest exclusively for harvesting wood for fuel and introducing stoves (on a trial basis) that use rice hulls as an alternative fuel to wood, thereby helping prevent forest destruction. Under the project, also encouraged are the cultivation of fruit trees such as mango and cacao and the use of a portion of harvest income to establish a fund for expanding and sustaining the reforestation.
TMC has provided approximately 200 million yen in capital to support this initiative, with Toyota Motor Philippines Corporation, a TMC subsidiary, assisting in the tree-planting by sending volunteers and donating Toyota “Hilux” four-wheel-drive pick-up trucks.
In Phase 2, TMC plans to establish and operate structures that will support independent activities by the local communities even after the end of the project in July 2013.