The Evidence Based Biodiversity Protection and Environmental Management is one of the components of the GIZ-PAME project named Mt. Malindang Biodiversity Protection through Capability Building granted to Misamis University Community Extension Program (MUCEP) in collaboration with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources – Protected Area Office 10 (DENR-PAO) and Provincial Local Government Unit of Misamis Occidental (PLGU). Misamis University has successfully conducted the Evidence Based Biodiversity Protection and Environmental Management training of the 130 Bantay Lasang (BLs) and 325 Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPATs) of the 65 buffer zone barangays of Mt. Malindang Range Natural Park (MMRNP) in Misamis Occidental. The training consisted of five topics which are vital in conducting the resource-based assessment on the environmental and critical condition of Mt. Malindang. These topics are the Basic Measures and Measurements, Global Positioning System (GPS) Reading, Flora Assessment, Fauna Assessment, and Focus Group Discussion. The resource persons are Forest Engr. Alfredo Garrido, faculty from the College of Agriculture and Forestry, For. Jersam C. Calago, Project Officer from Misamis University Community Extension Program (MUCEP), Ms. Yunalyn Villantes and Ms. Russel Galindo, faculty from the College of Arts and Sciences. The capability building was held at Asian Hotel, Ozamiz City last March 25-27, 2015.
The training was designed to utilize community resource based inventory assessments as the primary tool in understanding the importance of biodiversity in Mt. Malindang. The capability building of Bantay Lasang and enlistment of Barangay Peacekeeping Action Team (BPATS) will strengthen and widen the protection base and social fence of MMRNP. The innovation in the conduct of community based resource assessment by the BLs and BPATs will show the evidence-based actual exposure to the types, classes, quantity of the biodiversity they will protect.
The first two (2) days of the training was the introduction of the five topics crucial to the actualization of the evidence-based resource assessment by the BLs and BPATs to the types, classes and quantity of the biodiversity they will protect and to enlighten them on their role being accountable to the resources they will record and plan to protect. On the third day of the training, the BLs were immersed to Bukagan Hills, Malaubang Ozamiz City where they were able to practice the assessment of flora and fauna by applying the transect walk and field diary and used the GPS in recording the coordinates of the resources they will protect.
The Bantay Lasang (BLs) participants were attentive to the discussions and diligent in every workshop activity assigned to them. They were also given some time for queries and feedbacks. Such queries were usually regarding their honorarium and security as they perform their duties and as they go back to their respective barangays. Also, they requested the DENR-PAO office to produce for them an identification card signed by the Provincial Governor and Protected Area Superintendent as a cogent evidence of their appointment as Bantay Lasang which is not part of the outputs. Some participants admitted that some of the tasks in the resource assessment are really complicated but they are willing to try their best to perform their tasks.