Through its Protect Wildlife project in the Philippines, USAID continues to enhance knowledge and strengthen capabilities of national agencies, local government units and protected area managers in enforcing wildlife and environmental laws in the country.
Under the Advanced Training on Enforcement and Investigation for government agencies, 53 participants from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff were taught to monitor, investigate and conduct operations effectively to address violations of wildlife, forestry, fisheries and protected area laws. This course—usually offered to law enforcement units—provides the skills, knowledge and proof-of-concept that the participating agencies can adopt as part of their own training program.
In another training conducted in South Cotabato, 56 community leaders and local government officials from the municipalities that share boundaries with Mount Matutum Protected Landscape and from the towns of Surallah, T’boli, Bagumbayan, and Lake Sebu, which intersect the Allah Valley Protected Landscape, were trained on forestry, wildlife and environmental law enforcement in the context of conserving their respective protected areas. The course covered basic ecological concepts, important environmental legislations, procedural requirements for law enforcement groups, and operational and tactical exercises. The participants, who were expected to be deputized as Wildlife Enforcement Officers after this training, would form part of a broader stakeholder advocacy framework to improve conservation and environmental law enforcement in Mount Matutum and Allah Valley protected areas. (PWP/ Meg Yandoc)