USAID Capacitates Forest Protection Officers in Busuanga, Palawan

Photo caption: The Busuanga Pasture Reserve Forest Protection Officers (BPRFPO) trained by USAID’s B+WISER Program are composed of local residents of Busuanga. They were tapped by the DENR to strengthen the protection of Busuanga’s forests.

USAID’s Biodiversity and Watershed Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) Program capacitated twenty seven members of the Busuanga Pasture Reserve Forest Protection Officers (BPRFPO) in support of the DENR’s drive to boost patrolling operations and increase patrol presence around the 16,939-hectare Busuanga Pasture Reserve (BPR). The week-long activity was held on September 4-8, 2017 in Coron, Palawan.

During the activity, BPRFPO was trained on forest conservation area planning, purposive patrolling, data management and response protocols which included an overview of Philippine environmental laws. The training helped equip local enforcers in performing their duty to protect the BPR.

BPR’s lush forests are important habitats of several species of birds as well as other endemic species such as the Palawan porcupine, the Calamian deer, and the Palawan bearded pig. However, illegal logging, kaingin and construction activities within the BPR continue to threaten its fragile ecosystems and habitats. Protecting the large forest area has always been a challenge due to the severely limited number of patrollers in the past. The DENR is set on deputizing the twenty seven B+WISER-trained forest protection officers to increase patrol presence and curb destructive activities.