WCS provides technical advice to Government law enforcement staff at a number of project sites. Law enforcement serves to prevent forest crime, such as the illegal clearance of forest and the illegal hunting of wildlife, as well as securing forest areas for the indigenous human population that have a valid claim to the land. These staff are drawn from agencies such as the Forestry Administration, the Ministry of Environment, the Army and the Military Police.
At most sites, the law enforcement strategy is focused on teams of rangers who rotate between ranger stations situated at strategic locations within the site. These teams are supported by mobile teams that can intervene in a support capacity when necessary.
A comprehensive monitoring system enables site managers to maximize patrol efficiency. This monitoring program comprises two levels - intervention monitoring (law enforcement effort), and threat monitoring (law enforcement efficiency in reducing threats to wildlife such as poaching and illegal land clearance). This is supported by longer term ecological and land cover change monitoring programs. These programs evaluate the effectiveness of law enforcement interventions in protecting key wildlife species and habitat.
Intervention monitoring by law enforcement teams uses a database program called MIST (Management Information System) to produce standard monthly reports on patrolling effort and coverage, and actions taken by patrolling teams against illegal activities. MIST is also used to monitor threats, focusing on key illegal activities such as hunting, logging and land clearance, using data from patrol and other field teams to calculate simple indices, such as the number of illegal activities encountered per square kilometer, based on the areas visited by patrolling teams. Independent verification of illegal activities is obtained from biological monitoring teams, who also record the number of encounters with illegal activities per kilometer walked.
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