DENR upgrades to the latest SMART version to enhance information availability for decision makers

Photo Caption: Mr. Rodolfo Santos, Jr. of USAID’s B+WISER Program provided an overview of the enhanced features of the latest version of SMART in one of the regional workshops.

This week, through a series of regional workshops, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in partnership with USAID’s Biodiversity and Watershed Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) launched a nationwide upgrade to the latest version of the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART).

The Philippines, already a global leader in using SMART at a national scale, is the first to use this latest version with enhanced features made possible through USAID’s B+WISER. The enhanced features of the latest version of SMART (version 5.0,1) were developed in response to DENR’s needs arising from using SMART for forest protection at a national scale. They include the ability to create dashboards that allow better and simultaneous availability of forest protection-related data to DENR decision-makers at various levels from Community Environment and Natural Resources Offices (CENROs), Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Offices (PENROs), Regional Offices (ROs) and the Central Office. These dashboards can be designed to provide information that would support actions to address threats, monitor patrol performance, inform resource allocation decisions and assess effectiveness of forest protection efforts. All the DENR offices nationwide and data managers at various levels have been coached in shifting to the new version. The new version will support efforts of DENR to strengthen forest protection. The DENR has increased the budget for forest protection in 2018 by more than forty percent.

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Photo caption: DENR data managers familiarize themselves with the improved spatial analysis features of the system. This would allow more timely and more focused forest protection efforts.