The Philippines is one of the world’s 17 mega bio-diverse countries, containing two-thirds of the Earth’s biodiversity and 70 percent of the world’s plants and animal species. However, deforestation and forest degradation pose major threats to endangered wildlife and fragile forest habitats. This reality is fueled by a lack of timely and effective responses to natural or man-made environmental damages. To reduce threats and ensure the protection of natural forests and their biodiversity, the Philippines’ Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), got tech-smart about forest protection.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) together with USAID’s Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program partnered with Hedcor, Inc, to implement the Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System (Lawin) in the company’s area of operation within Mt. Apo Natural Park.
To support the implementation of the Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System (Lawin) in Quezon Province, the Team Energy Foundation (TEFI) donated 24 units of portable solar panels and power banks to be used by DENR’s forest rangers to conduct regular forest patrols.
The Municipality of Sta. Cruz, located within Mt. Apo Natural Park, incorporated the implementation of the Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System into its disaster risk reduction strategy. The strategy involves the protection of 3,851 hectares of forest within the jurisdiction of the LGU from threats including forest fires. Apart from storing carbon, forests help regulate water flow and serve as buffers during strong typhoons.