Ad­vance com­puter soft­ware to boost CL for­est and bio­di­ver­sity pro­tec­tion

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE -

CITY

OF SAN FER­NANDO-The De­part­ment of En­vi­ron­ment and Nat­u­ral Re­sources (DENR) here re­cently re­ceived more than half a mil­lion worth of com­put­ers and lap­tops from the United States Agency for In­ter­na­tional De­vel­op­ment (USAID) and the Bio­di­ver­sity and Water­sheds Im­proved for Stronger Econ­omy and Ecosys­tem Re­silience (B+ WISER) Pro­gram to fur­ther boost and ad­vance for­est pro­tec­tion and bio­di­ver­sity con­ser­va­tion in Cen­tral Lu­zon un­der the Lawin For­est and Bio­di­ver­sity Pro­tec­tion Sys­tem.

Ac­cord­ing to Fran­cisco Milla, Jr., re­gional di­rec­tor of DENR in Re­gion III the com­put­ers are equipped with up­graded for­est and bio­di­ver­sity pro­tec­tion sys­tem, which is the SMART Con­nect soft­ware that will be used in the roll-out of Lawin sys­tem in the re­gion.

“This up­graded sys­tem will syn­chro­nize the data gath­ered from the field by for­est pro­tec­tion of­fi­cers, in­clud­ing threats, for­est con­di­tions and in­di­ca­tor species, and will be trans­mit­ted on the web or in­ter­net server and will be ac­ces­si­ble to all lev­els of for­est law en­force­ment agents (i.e. na­tional, re­gional, PENRO and CENRO) to en­sure that DENR can re­spond quickly to field re­ports of threat,” he ex­plained.

He said the sys­tem can col­lect data from the field and share in real time. It can also man­age and re­spond to real time alerts and cen­trally man­ages SMART de­ploy­ment at mul­ti­ple sites, and can in­te­grate SMART with other sys­tem, he added.

Ri­cardo Calderon,

di­rec­tor of DENR-For­est Man­age­ment Bureau (FMB) said that Cen­tral Lu­zon is one of the pi­lot re­gions for the field test­ing of SMART Con­nect for Lawin for­est and bio­di­ver­sity sys­tem while the other one is the Cagayan de Oro re­gion.

“We are now mov­ing to the next level. Our for­est rangers and data man­agers are al­ready trained in the Lawin for­est and bio­di­ver­sity pro­tec­tion sys­tem. And at this stage, we are now pro­vid­ing them ad­vance tech­nol­ogy as their weapon to bet­ter pro­tect and safe­guard our for­est and bio­di­ver­sity”, he said.

It will be re­called that last year more than 200 for­est of­fi­cers from the DENR Re­gion III un­der­gone skill en­hance­ment train­ing on for­est pro­tec­tion through the ap­pli­ca­tion of Lawin.

This is in ad­di­tion to the 2,000 for­est rangers that have been trained in Lawin last year cov­er­ing 18 re­gions in the coun­try which re­sulted in the pa­trolling of more than 6,500 kilo­me­ters of for­est ar­eas in 170 con­ser­va­tion sites.

Lawin is named af­ter the Philip­ine hawk ea­gle, which com­bines sci­ence-based plan­ning, low-cost, col­lab­o­ra­tive, user friendly tech­nol­ogy and in­dige­nous knowl­edge to pro­tect for­est and wildlife. It uses real-time and mea­sur­able data that al­low en­vi­ron­men­tal law en­force­ment agen­cies to act quickly.

SMART Con­nect for LAWIN sys­tem is be­ing su­per­vised by the B+ WISER and DENR-FMB with sup­port from USAID.

DENR records show that Cen­tral Lu­zon has 942,387 hectares of forest­land, which is thickly cov­ered with 589,489 hectares forests (or 62% for­est cover ) .

Some im­por­tant plants and an­i­mal species that can be found in­side th­ese forests in­clude the small­est of the big­gest flower or Raf­fle­sia con­sueloae, the pre­mium species of dipte­ro­carpaceae fam­ily, Ta­pu­lao mice (Apomys browno­rum), largest fly­ing fox (Ptero­pus vampyrus), gi­ant cloud rat (Phloeomys pal­lidus) and the en­dan­gered Philip­pine Ea­gle (Pithe­cophaga jef­feryi).

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