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DENR steps up wildlife monitoring

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is reinforcing efforts against poaching and illegal wildlife trade as it ordered the strict monitoring and implementation of wildlife shipments in and out of the country.

Environment Secretary Roy Cimatu issued a memorandum directing all regional directors to strengthen surveillance at ports of entry to curb wildlife trafficking.

The DENR through attached agency Palawan Council for Sustainable Development recently sued two individuals for their involvement in the death of 70 marine turtles in Dumaran, Palawan.

The suspects violated the Wildlife Resources and Protection Act, which prohibits the collection, hunting and possession of wildlife, including its byproducts and derivatives, and their transport without the necessary permit.

Cimatu also ordered field officials to monitor activities in markets and other establishments engaged in wildlife trade.

“We also need to heighten our information campaign to effectively raise awareness and educate the public about wildlife crimes and how local communities can help protect and conserve the country’s rich biological diversity,” Cimatu said.

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The DENR chief added that regional offices must establish “collaborative mechanisms” with all concerned agencies, local government units to ensure cohesive efforts and transparency in law enforcement.

“The DENR needs to work more closely with its partners, including local communities and law enforcement agencies, in detecting and preventing wildlife crimes,” he said.

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