The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has turned over to the Philippine government over P2.3 million ($48,000) worth of tools and equipment which will be used for proper handling and management of wildlife, particularly those rescued from illegal trade.
In a statement on Wednesday, the USAID said the provision of essential equipment and supplies to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is part of its support to strengthen wildlife law enforcement and protection and to boost the department’s work in combating wildlife trafficking and providing holistic care for rescued wildlife in its custody.
The items, which were formally turned over last Dec. 11, included conservation tags, armored gloves, snake tongs, forceps, and microchips for efficient handling and tagging of live animals which will be distributed to DENR wildlife rescue centers across the country.
These tools will aid DENR veterinarians and personnel to properly examine and care for rescued and injured wildlife and speed up their rehabilitation and recovery for subsequent release into natural habitats.
Aside from the tools, the USAID also handed over the complete components of the Wildlife Agency and Citizen Law Enforcement Reporting Tool (WildALERT) system, which was launched on World Wildlife Day last March.
WildALERT is an innovative solution jointly developed by the USAID and the Philippine environment office to help enforcers and frontliners in the field to curb wildlife crimes through real-time and centralized reporting.
Made up of a mobile app and a reporting management platform, the system helps users correctly identify rescued wildlife species and promptly submit digitized reports of wildlife law violations, and at the same time, help improve the daily enforcement operations of the DENR and partner agencies across the country.
DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau Director Ricardo Calderon received the new sets of tools and the WildALERT system and manuals from Rebecca Paz of USAID’s Protect Wildlife Project.