The Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape ranks among the most diverse and productive marine ecosystems worldwide. Unfortunately, its marine habitats and marine resources continue to face major threats due to overfishing; illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; unsustainable coastal development; and wildlife poaching, among others. Therefore, it is urgent to strengthen the wildlife law enforcement. Setting up an effective coordination and communication system among various wildlife and environmental enforcement agencies operating within the Sulu-Sulawesi Seascape is one of the ways to strengthen the enforcement.
Puerto Princesa City, Palawan, officials from eight municipalities and law enforcement partners sat down together on January 16-18, 2018 to develop a wildlife law enforcement coordination and communication protocol that would provide a quick response mechanism for the concerned agencies and offices on wildlife violations. The other stakeholders included officers of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD), the Philippine National Police-Maritime Group, the Philippine Coast Guard, and the Philippine Ports Authority.In
Participants from these law enforcement agencies and local government units recommended the establishment of a command center to address immediately wildlife law violations in the province, especially within Marine Turtle Protected Area Network.
Law enforcement agencies in Turtle Islands Wildlife Sanctuary in Tawi-tawi also deliberated on these draft protocols and recommended to create a similar command center for Turtle Islands. Once institutionalized, the protocol would ease the flow and exchange of information within and among law enforcers for a more efficient quick response to wildlife law violations.
The Marine Turtle Protected Area Network was launch during the 12th Session of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on the Conservation of Migratory Species of Wild Animals through the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement among DENR, PCSD, Provincial governments of Palawan and Tawi-tawi in October 2017.