Saturday, March 7, 2020

DENR awards wildlife defenders and announces intensified efforts to stop organized environmental crime

“Our endemic species face the threat of extinction if we do not intensify our law enforcement to crack down illegal wildlife trafficking and other environmental crimes.  We honor the valiant efforts of our enforcers who risk their lives to protect our country’s wildlife resources from poaching, trafficking, and overexploitation. We are currently working with Congress to establish an environmental protection and enforcement bureau that will provide the DENR stronger powers and full authority to police wildlife traffickers, illegal loggers, and other environmental criminals. ~Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo Jr., Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Finance, Human Resources and Information Systems of the DENR

World Wildlife Day Event. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources press conference with the theme “Combatting illegal wildlife trade to sustain all life on earth” and discussed how the Philippines synthesize the efforts and commitments at the national, regional and international levels.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) announced that it will intensify efforts to combat wildlife crime, in partnership with law enforcement agencies such as the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), Philippine National Police (PNP) Maritime Group, and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), during the 7th Wildlife Enforcement Awards held on World Wildlife Day.

Over the last four years, USAID has supported DENR with enforcement, policy, research, private sector financing, behavior change communication, as well as providing advanced training programs covering wildlife crime scene investigations, advanced intelligence and investigation techniques, and wildlife identification along with improving the wildlife forensics capacity of the Philippines. WildALERT – a mobile application to aid DENR personnel and law enforcement partners in identifying wildlife species and reporting wildlife crimes while on the field, was also launched.

Mr. John Edgar, Chief Environment Office USAID Philippines

Emphasizing the need for concerted action to conserve and protect species in biodiversity hotspots such as the Philippines. USAID supports the DENR-Biodiversity Management Bureau in addressing the rampant poaching, trafficking, and illegal trade of wildlife and by-products. Through USAID’s Protect Wildlife project, close to 2,000 government personnel, law enforcers, and community members have been trained in improved practices in enforcing environmental and wildlife laws.

Atty. Ernesto D. Adobo Jr., Undersecretary for Legal, Administration, Finance, Human Resources and Information Systems of the DENR

ADB  is supporting DENR-BMB in its efforts to strengthen policies and legal frameworks to address large-scale wildlife trafficking, in particular, to amend the 19-year old Philippine Wildlife Act, RA 9147 (ii) enhance inter-agency collaboration and information sharing through tools such as the E-CITES online permitting system to prevent fraud and wildlife smuggling, port monitoring assessments, and training in cooperation with United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and reducing consumer demand for wildlife and wildlife products and make the public and policymakers aware of the long-term value of wildlife to the Philippine economy.

This year’s global celebration “Sustaining All Life on Earth” emphasizes the need for concerted action to conserve and protect the countless wildlife in biodiversity hotspots such as the Philippines. The Philippines is also regarded by conservationists as very rich in terms of unique species that can only be found in our islands and nowhere else in the world! Take a look at five of these endemic species, who call the Philippines their only home.

The DENR also highlighted its awareness campaigns, #STOPILLEGALWILDLIFETRADE and #BETTERWILDANDALIVE, supported by the ADB and USAID, to raise awareness around illegal wildlife trade, and the urgent need for collective action by government, civil society, private sector, and individuals to help conserve wildlife. 

It also included a ceremonial turnover of a new X-Ray Machine to the National Wildlife Rescue and Research Center and the 5th National Wildlife Quiz Bee Contest.

This year’s celebration of World Wildlife Day is an opportunity for people to recognize the important role of wildlife in our ecology while advocating for its protection, to ensure that future generations can continue to enjoy the benefits of greater biodiversity.  

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