Today is: Wed, May 22, 2013
The Local Government Code of 1991 mandated local governments to prepare and enforce local environment codes and relevant sector-specific laws. Sector-specific laws provide guidance on overall national policies, processes, and procedures on the use of natural resources, and pollution control and prevention. Law enforcement is viewed as a variety of interventions that government may rely upon to achieve compliance with requirements of the law. These interventions may be carried out a the national and local levels focusing on the “soft” preventive measures; such as social marketing, information management, and public education, to “hard” sanctions imposed by apprehension, prosecution, and conviction.
Environmental law enforcement will be effective when national agencies and local governments will have taken an integrated approach that employs multiple strategies and available resources in a coordinated and cooperative manner. Although intergovernmental deputation is also provided for in some laws, they are often weak and ineffectual because other agencies are also burdened by the same problems of lack of qualified personnel, logistics and budget. The growing sophistication of violations, the intricacies involved in prosecution and the economic losses attributed to illegal logging, illegal fishing, and waste dumping, makes it difficult for enforcers to be effective.
The U.S. Department of Interior (USDOI) - USAID Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation Program supports biodiversity conservation in the Philippines by increasing capacity of local and national environmental law enforcement bodies. The Program objective contributes to USAID’s mission of strengthening the ability of Philippine national and local government units and communities to address critical threats to the country’s globally significant coastal and upland resources and promoting good governance – transparency and accountability – in enforcing environmental laws.
The Partnership for Biodiversity Conservation Program will build on previous initiatives and reinforce current environmental law enforcement activities by relevant USAID partners and with the Philippine Government counterpart agencies by sharing its expertise in agreed priority areas. The interventions being carried out at the national and local levels focusing on the following:
- Reinforcing inter-agency coordination and cooperation by strengthening organizational capacities of the National Law Enforcement Coordinating Council and supporting the creation of functioning multi-agency Environmental Law Enforcement Task Forces (e.g., Sierra Madre, Taal Lake).
- Improving and mainstreaming environmental law enforcement responses and operations by supporting the standardization of Wildlife Enforcement Protocols and Procedures, the first of its kind in Southeast Asia and likely to be used as models for other countries. Forestry and Fisheries Protocols to follow.
- Strengthening environmental law enforcement adjudication and prosecution by supporting the creation of "Green Benches" and the development of a Green Guide for the Courts.
- Capacity-building of enforcers by standardizing an Environmental Law Enforcement Training Curriculum and implementing it across all relevant agencies.
The Program facilitated the First National Environmental Law Enforcement Summit in 2006, during which the government agencies drafted a Philippines Environmental Law Enforcement Road Map, which identified these top-priority interventions. It also supported the Second National Environmental Law Enforcement Summit in 2010, which helped enhance the coordination and operational capabilities between and amongst the agencies charged with implementing environmental laws.
Chief, Office of Environment, Energy, and Climate Change
Tel. No. (632) 301-6000
Fax No. (632) 301-6213
ENERGY and ENVIRONMENT
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