Errol Abada Gatumbato

Community Volunteers Deputized by DENR as Biodiversity Guardians

By: Errol Abada Gatumbato

Thursday November 24,2011
at :
The Polillo Group of Islands, Quezon – Community volunteers from Burdeos, Polillo and Panukulan municipalities received a training on Deputation of DENR Officers last September 6-8, 2011 in Infanta, Quezon. As members of the Bantay Kalikasan (BK), the trainees have long been actively involved in biodiversity protection and law enforcement. Now that they have secured their deputation orders from the DENR, they are officially clothed with authority to apprehend forest and wildlife law offenders.Before the deputation, these community volunteers were appointed by their respective barangay and municipal LGUs who similarly shoulder the operational expenses of these groups in conducting forest patrolling and surveillance. The three groups are now preparing for their registration as legal organizations.

The BK groups jointly conduct patrolling of illegal activities, and the same time, wildlife monitoring. In the event that illegal activities are detected, these volunteers first conduct information and education campaign, then they report the incident to the barangay council who in turn summons the offender. In difficult situations, the BK members notify the PNP who also takes action. In a way, this contributes to community and LGU empowerment on resource protection and law enforcement. The BK members can attest that their efforts have contributed in curtailing or regulating illegal activities, particularly wildlife hunting. Even women from the community are actively participating in protection activities.

The NewCAPP, a project of PAWB-DENR, with support from the GEF through UNDP, with its partner – the Philippine Biodiversity Conservation Foundation (PBCFI) and the Polillo Biodiversity Conservation Foundation is providing technical assistance to these groups so they will be properly guided on the operational systems and procedures of law enforcement. Through the project, PBCFI aims to expand similar initiative in Patnanungan and Jomalig municipalities.

The BK groups are similarly supported by the Chester Zoo/North of England Zoological Society and have been expanded due to the support provided before by the Philippines Tropical Forestry Conservation Foundation. PBCFI views the involvement of these community volunteers as an upscaling of the “real” community-based biodiversity protection and habitat restoration initiatives.


November 26, 2011 - Posted by | Biodiversity Conservation, Conservation Initiatives, Uncategorized

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