Twelve volunteers from the indigenous group Batak are now patrolling Mt. Cleopatra’s Needle, a newly-declared critical habitat in Puerto Princesa City.

This as the Wildlife Enforcement Volunteers program of the Centre for Sustainability (CS) was launched on February 13 at Sitio Tagnaya, Barangay Concepcion, Puerto Princesa City.

Said event was attended by the different government partner agencies, such as the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff, City Environment Natural Resources Office, and Provincial ENRO – Community ENRO Puerto Princesa.

Prior to the launching ceremony, the 12 volunteers underwent a three-day training last January 11-13, wherein George Saragena of the PCSDS ECAN Education and Extension Division was invited to discuss different environmental laws, criminal and environmental procedures and duties and functions as volunteers of the wildlife enforcement volunteers.

The newly declared Cleopatra’s Needle Critical Habitat, which protects more than 100,000 acres of forest on the lush island of Palawan, is the culmination of a three-year project led by the CS, PCSDS, City ENRO and the Batak tribe, with support from Global Wildlife Conservation, Rainforest Trust and the Amphibian Survival Alliance.