DENR-12 adopts upgraded environment protection system

Edge Davao

The regional office of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR-12) has adopted the upgraded version of the Landscape and Wildlife Indicators-Forest and Biodiversity Protection System (LAWIN-LFBPS) in a bid to speed up its monitoring, data analysis and forest protection efforts.

Only recently, the DENR’s Forest Management Bureau (FMB) and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) had capacitated data managers from all levels of offices with the updated version of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) software for the initiative.

In a report, the DENR-12 said the system operates through web-based, open- sourced software called “cybertracker” for the data collection interface and the SMART for data analysis, mapping and report generation.

Data can be transferred to Google maps and other tools for creation of doable reports which facilitate decision-making.

Rodolfo Santos Jr., B+WISER monitoring and evaluation specialist, said that they had upgraded the SMART software from SMART 4.1 to SMART 5.0.1 as there were difficulties in data upload beforehand due to file size of images taken during patrols resulting in delayed availability of information at higher DENR levels.

“There were shortfalls observed and reported using the old version which can now be addressed by the upgraded version of SMART.” Santos said.

The upgraded version of SMART can now automatically downsize the images taken during patrols and can easily be uploaded to SMART Connect, implying enhanced analysis to better focus forest protection efforts.

“The redeveloped system version is vital in decision making. Monitoring our protected areas from threats is not enough if there are still issues on report generation. Now the system provides easy access to information for decision makers, Dr. Ali Hajinasser, conservation and development chief, noted.

The LAWIN system records data on wildlife indicator species for healthy forests to determine how the forest ecosystem is responding to management interventions.

It is developed by the DENR and USAID’s B+WISER to improve the response mechanisms on addressing threats and ensures sustainability of conservation efforts inside the country’s protected areas over the long-term.

The project expects to improve 780,000 hectares of forests and watershed as well as reforest 78,000 hectares of forests and 6,000 hectares of mangrove in the coun try. By yearend, B+WISER is expected to reduce greenhouse gases by 3.4 million metric tons. (Noel Punzalan/PNA)