The USAID Protect Wildlife project and the Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) recently hosted the 8th Training of Trainers on wildlife law enforcement. The cast of trainers trained comprised 64 personnel in total from the Philippine National Police, including its Special Action Force; the National Bureau of Investigation, including its Environmental Crime Division and agents from regional offices; the Philippine Coast Guard; the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development; and DENR’s enforcement division and regional legal offices.
The training taught participants about wildlife, fisheries and environmental laws; permitting regulations under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) treaty; and various procedures in DENR-BMB’s Manual of Operations for Wildlife Law Enforcement. They applied what they learned in roleplaying exercises for conducting application for search warrants, inquest filing, and court proceedings. The five-day training culminated in an actual field operation exercise.
A new addition in the 2018 training program was an orientation on scene-of-wildlife-crime investigation and forensics. Using mockup wildlife crime scenes, DENR personnel, who had been trained under USAID-supported programs, taught participants how to properly mark, tag and bag evidence, as well as how to collect DNA and trace evidence.
The USAID Protect Wildlife project supports BMB in conducting the yearly Training of Trainers to help mainstream wildlife law enforcement in the DENR and in allied law enforcement agencies throughout the Philippines. (Protect Wildlife Project)