Lawin system adopted in Palawan to conserve forests in one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature

Photo caption: Eighteen park rangers employed by the city government of Puerto Princesa City have been capacitated by USAID through its B+WISER Program

     The Protected Area Management Board (PAMB) of the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park (PPSRNP), one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, issued a resolution adopting the Lawin Forest and Biodiversity Protection System to boost the protection of 22,202 hectares of forest within the park. The PAMB unanimously approved and adopted the implementation of the Lawin system. PPSRNP, which is popularly known as the Puerto Princesa Underground River, is managed by the city government of Puerto Princesa through the PAMB. The forests in the park are part of the 183,000-hectare forest conservation area that is under the jurisdiction of CENRO Puerto Princesa City (CENRO PPC).

     With the approval of the PAMB resolution, the city government of Puerto Princesa and CENRO PPC committed to work closely together to implement the Lawin system in order to conserve the park’s natural forests. The natural forests in and around PPRSNP are of high conservation significance. It is home to populations of endangered wild animals such as the red-vented cockatoo, Palawan peacock pheasant, and the Palawan hornbill. The area also attracts millions of tourists annually and provide livelihoods to local people and revenue to the city government.

     Prior to the approval of the resolution, CENRO PPC formulated a forest conservation area (FCA) plan to protect the forests within its jurisdiction. Part of this plan covers the 22,202 hectares of forest within the PPSRNP. In September, USAID, through its B+WISER Program, capacitated 18 park rangers and trained them in patrol planning, the use of CyberTracker in patrolling and in recording of observations and in responding to threats.