The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has launched an innovative forest protection system called “LAWIN.” The system provides accurate information about the status of protected areas (covered by Republic Act No. 7586, or the National Integrated Protected Areas System Act).
The LAWIN Forest and Biodiversity Protection System would enable park rangers and planners to access critical information in real time and share information about what they find in the field. This approach to environmental protection (which uses data gathered from an open-source software) would allow wildlife authorities speedy access to information on hundreds of protected species and resources which they can use in identifying and prosecuting wildlife crime.
The debut of the protection system was held at the Fuyot Spring National Park (FSNP) in Ilagan City, Isabela, one of the local government units that overlap in the 360,000-hectare Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park (NSMNP), the largest protected area in the country.
Project LAWIN is developed by the DENR and the Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
The system also enables wildlife patrol rangers, which are mostly community volunteers, to quickly alert wildlife officers to recent clearing of wooded areas, and allows them to upload observations and photos of signs of illegal logging as evidence, and send these photos to concerned law enforcement agencies.