lawin in metro manila


LAWIN in Metro Manila
October 4, 2016
SAN MATEO, RIZAL – DENR-NCR Regional Director Lourdes C. Wagan (inset) addresses the participants to the training on LAWIN Forest and Biodiversity Protection System (LFBPS) on Tuesday, October 4, 2016 at Timberland Sports and Nature Club in San Mateo, Rizal. 
The participants, composed mostly of forest and wildlife experts and field workers of the regional office, learn about LAWIN, an innovative mobile application intended to help the DENR and other stakeholders monitor and report on the status of the environment, particularly protected areas and critical habitats.
Originally launched early last March in Isabela province, LAWIN was developed by the DENR in partnership with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).  The National Capital Region is the last region to conduct the training, in accordance with the schedule prepared by the Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) of USAID. 
Even while the application was designed for use in monitoring protected areas, DENR-NCR Regional Director Lourdes C. Wagan sees its practical application in Metro Manila.  She explained that the regional office monitors at least three environmentally-critical areas in the NCR: the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat and Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA), the Navotas Marine Tree Park, and the La Mesa Watershed Area in Quezon City. 
In addition, DENR-NCR monitors the condition of Manila Bay and its three major tributaries: the Malabon-Navotas, Tullahan, Tinajeros (MANATUTI) River System; the Pasig-Marikina-San Juan (PAMARISAN) River System; and Muntinlupa-Parañaque-Las Piñas-Zapote (MUNTIPARLASPIZAP) River System, in compliance with the Mandamus issued by the Supreme Court.
“The fact that Metro Manila is regarded as the smart phone capital of the Philippines”, RD Wagan enthuses, “all the more makes LAWIN an important platform to encourage the public to help in monitoring and reporting on the status of our urban ecosystem.”   
As LAWIN uses an open-source, web-based system, people are given the chance to actively participate in reporting on ground conditions as they happen.  “What makes LAWIN truly great is it is user-friendly and intuitive”, RD Wagan continues; “after downloading and installing the app in their smart phones, they can now record and report on threats to the environment, rare sightings of flora and fauna species, even violations of environment laws.”