Foresters and forest rangers of DENR-NCR get to know what the LAWIN Forest and Biodiversity Protection System application is all about from Dr. Felix Gashick, Biodiversity and Forestry Specialist for the Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) program of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
 
October 4, 2016
 
SAN MATEO, RIZAL – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-National Capital Region (DENR-NCR) started training its personnel on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 on the uses and functions of LAWIN Forest and Biodiversity Protection System (LFBPS) at Timberland Sports and Nature Club in San Mateo, Rizal.
 
The four-day training included a practicum at the La Mesa Watershed Area in Quezon City, where participants get to test LAWIN on ground (see related story, Test Flight for LAWIN).
 
LAWIN is a mobile application developed by DENR in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  It was developed to help improve the response mechanisms of DENR and other stakeholders in addressing observed threats to the environment using smart phones.  It operates on web-based, open-source software called “Cyber-Tracker” for data collection and the Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) for data analysis, mapping and report generation.
 
DENR-NCR Regional Director Lourdes C. Wagan hailed the application as a welcome technological advancement, especially in the field of monitoring and reporting on the status of the environment.  She said that “applications that help people at the frontlines respond better, efficiently and accurately, should receive government support”.  “LAWIN”, she adds, has successfully “integrated a science-based monitoring tool with user-friendly technology to help us track the status of our protected areas and critical habitats”.  She is hopeful that the ever-increasing appeal of mobile technology to people will encourage them to use LAWIN and help the authorities in monitoring and reporting on the status of our environment.