The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) has launched a mobile app back in March to address wildlife trafficking in the country and to ease its reporting process. However, the app is not yet available to the public as it continues to undergo updates to improve its services.

The Wildlife Agency and Citizen Law Enforcement Reporting Tool (WildALERT) is a centralized system that aims to help DENR and its law enforcement partners, to identify wildlife species, report illegal activities, validate and update reports, and monitor the status of wildlife crimes.

“In law enforcement, especially apprehending wildlife violators, the key element is time,” Theresa Tenazas, lawyer and the officer-in-charge at the DENR’s Wildlife Resources Divsion (WRD), told Mongabay in an interview. “And if we are able to bridge this gap from the discovery of the crime or illegal activity up to the time of reporting, then apprehension will be speedy. It will facilitate the actual and on-time apprehension of the violators.”

The app is still currently being tested, as the DENR plans a year-end rollout of the app.

WildALERT also has a library feature, which is like a Facebook for endangered species so that users can quickly identify and report species they encounter.

In the Philippines, illegal wildlife trafficking is the fourth-biggest transnational crime in the world. The trade is estimated at $1 billion a year.

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