BAGUIO City’s Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) have adopted the use of drones in its campaign against illegal logging.
During the weekly Talakayan sa Environment Code, Cenro Baguio Head Reinieer Balbuena explained the importance of utilizing drones for its documentation to be used as evidence in filing criminal cases against would-be violators.
“The Lawin program is a management tool introduced by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) wherein we use drones in our monitoring activity. And based on our report, the use of drones is the highlight of the program in patrolling by foot under our law enforcement procedures for documentation purposes,” Balbuena said.
On March 2016, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the USAID launched the innovative “Lawin” Forest and Biodiversity Protection System in Ilagan City, Isabela and have since been replicated in other areas in the country.
Lawin, named after the local name of the Philippine Hawk Eagle (Nisaetus philipensis), applies a science-based approach to protect forests and the wildlife program which will help protect and conserve the natural parks which has the largest remaining contiguous block of natural forests in the Philippines.
Cenro Baguio’s jurisdiction covers the areas of Sablan, Tuba, Bokod, La Trinidad and the Itogon in Benguet Province.
“The department would know if a documentation team is giving the right data through the Global Positioning System or GPS of the drones. This would cover the starting point up to the area where you went is being seen and recorded in real time,” the Cenro officer stated.
Based on its 2017 records, Cenro Baguio have patrolled 415.7 kilometers of trails by foot in its area of jurisdiction under the ‘Lawin’ program.
“Lawin” uses five key innovations in forest protection starting with the use of a science-based purpose-driven process for identifying conservation areas and hotspots and formulating measurable conservation objectives for these.