The United States Agency for International Development’s (USAID)  Protect Wildlife Project in the Philippines supports various capacity-strengthening activities to help partner agencies and groups boost their knowledge and skills in enforcing environmental and wildlife laws in the country.

In South Cotabato, Protect Wildlife partnered with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Tribal Leaders Development Foundation, Inc. (TLDFI) to train barangay officials and community members from T’boli municipality as potential wildlife enforcement officers for the Allah Valley Protected Landscape. The training emphasized forestry law enforcement and tested participants with a field exercise that simulated the arrest of transporters of illegally-sourced lumber.

The project also supported the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ (BFAR) workshop that helped draft a five-year national enforcement plan to strengthen BFAR’s efforts to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in Philippine waters. The workshop was also an opportunity to assess national enforcement measures in fishery laws, and to learn more about the bureau’s Fishery Law Enforcement Management Information System.

Lastly, Protect Wildlife and the Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation Phase 3 project under the U.S. Department of Interior trained a new batch of green court prosecutors from Ilocos, Southern Luzon and Bicol regions. The seminar taught public prosecutors the salient details and rules of procedure for prosecuting violations of wildlife, forestry, fisheries, mining and other environmental laws. This activity aims to strengthen public prosecution that will lead to higher conviction rates of offenders and deter environmental and wildlife crimes. (PWP/ Lawrence San Diego)


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