DENR-12 upgrades LAWIN system to boost forest protection efforts

Climate Change/Environment • Tue Oct 10, 2017 05:47 PM  •  494   0
By RH Sumagpao/CG Valdez/DENR-12
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KORONADAL CITY – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region (DENR - 12) data managers of LAWIN (Landscape and Wildlife Indicators) Forest and Biodiversity Protection System (LFBPS) is now ready to adopt upgraded version of the system to speed up monitoring, data analysis and report generation to strengthen forest protection efforts.  

The DENR through the Forest Management Bureau (FMB) and USAID's Biodiversity and Watersheds Improved for Stronger Economy and Ecosystem Resilience (B+WISER) had recently capacitated all designated data managers from the regional office, provincial and city offices with the updated version of Spatial Monitoring and Reporting Tool (SMART) software.  

The system operates through web-based, open-source software called “cybertracker” for the data collection interface and the SMART for data analysis, mapping and report generation.  

Data can be transferred to Google maps and other tools for creation of doable reports which facilitate decision-making.  

B+WISER Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist Rodolfo Santos, Jr. said that they had upgraded the SMART software from SMART 4.1 to SMART 5.0.1.  

“There were shortfalls observed and reported using the old version which can now be addressed by the upgraded version of SMART,” Santos said.  

“There were difficulties in data upload by CENROs due to file size of images taken during patrols resulting in delayed availability of information at higher DENR levels,” Santos added.  

"Analysis based on spatial units other than CENROs, such as Protected Areas, processing plants and other areas of special concerns was not possible with the old version,” he added.      
 

The upgraded version of SMART can now automatically downsize the images taken during patrols and can easily be uploaded to SMART Connect and allows for spatial analysis of patrol data from several CENROs at once. This implies enhanced analysis to better focus forest protection efforts.  

Dr. Ali M. Hajinasser, DENR-12 conservation and development chief, was appreciative of the enhancement made in the system.  

“The upgraded version of the system is very much vital in decision making. Monitoring our protected areas from threats is not enough if there are still issues on report generation. Now the system provides easy access to information for decision makers,” Hajinasser said.  

LAWIN system records data on wildlife indicator species for healthy forests to determine how the forest ecosystem is responding to management interventions.  

Project LAWIN is developed by the DENR and the B+WISER of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) aims to improve the response mechanisms to address observed threats and ensures sustainability of conservation efforts inside the country’s protected areas over the long-term.  

It expects to improve 780,000 hectares of forests and watershed as well as reforest 78,000 hectares of forests and 6,000 hectares of mangrove. By the end of December 2017, B+WISER is expected to reduce greenhouse gases by 3.4 million metric tons. (RHSumagpao/CGValdez/DENR-12)
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