By Ellalyn De Vera-Ruiz
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has given recognition to 28 law enforcement officers for their contribution to end illegal wildlife trade.
DENR, through its Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), has awarded gold, silver and bronze medals to officers from the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) and the Philippine National Police (PNP) who were its partners in enforcing wildlife laws and regulations during the past year.
Environment and Natural Resources Secretary Roy Cimatu commended the awardees for their vital role in the arrest and filing of cases against wildlife crime offenders, and the rescue of various wildlife species, most of them are considered endangered.
Cimatu said the battle against wildlife crimes requires a combination of strategies, thus the DENR has been employing the 3Es: education, engagement and enforcement.
“The DENR is strongly resolved to fight wildlife crimes. However, combatting wildlife crimes requires a combination of strategies,” Cimatu said in his keynote address, as read by Undersecretary and Chief of Staff Rodolfo Garcia, during the awarding ceremony held at BMB Training Center in Quezon City.
According to Cimatu, educating the public and engaging them are both crucial in the fight against wildlife crime.
“The third E is the reason why we are here—to give proper recognition to those who have distinguished themselves in enforcing the law to protect our wildlife,” Cimatu said.
In December 2013, the United Nations declared every March 3 as World Wildlife Day to celebrate and raise awareness on the world’s flora and fauna.
The date coincides with the day the CITES or the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Flora and Fauna, was adopted.