The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) launched Project TRANSFORM (Transdisciplinary Approach for Resilient and Sustainable Communities) during the second leg of the agency’s Multistakeholder Forum in the Visayas on January 18.

An offshoot of a panel discussion in the first multistakeholder forum held in Manila last October, Project TRANSFORM will support the DENR’s new Environment and Natural Resources (ENR) Resiliency Framework to deliver environmental, social and economic gains for local government units (LGUs) nationwide.

Guarded by the thrust and directive of Environment Secretary Antonia Loyzaga to engage the whole of society in the DENR’s mission, the project aims to put together all the best practices from both government and the private sectors to deliver an inclusive, science-based, and data-driven template that all stakeholders, partners, and LGUs can use in fighting the accelerating climate emergency.

“This project will be inclusive, meaning all stakeholders and partners will be welcome to support this based on the demands and needs of the communities,” said DENR Undersecretary for Policy, Planning and International Affairs Jonas R. Leones.

Ormoc City, Leyte was chosen as the pilot area for the implementation of Project TRANSFORM to be undertaken by the DENR, in collaboration with the City Government of Ormoc, National Resilience Council, Philippine Business for Social Progress, Peace and Equity Foundation, Zuellig Family Foundation, and Energy Development Corporation (EDC).

Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez said she is grateful that Ormoc was selected as the pilot site for Project Transform, as the city will gain more environmental protection, assistance and inputs.

“Our localized sustainability and resilience program will now be turbo boosted by the DENR to offer higher level solutions to raising ecological integrity and improving social economic conditions, not only for Ormocanons, but for the surrounding municipalities as well,” Torres-Gomez said.

The DENR and its multi-sectoral partners signed a pledge of commitment signifying their cooperation toward the achievement of their shared goals at the stakeholder forum on January 18 as well.

Project TRANSFORM is composed of five modules developed by DENR and EDC that will be introduced to the LGUs to strengthen their existing programs in various aspects: biodiversity, greenhouse gases (GHG) accounting, financial literacy, disaster management, and nature-based solutions.

Emphasizing the vital role of data collection in its mission for innovative strategies, policies and processes, the DENR pushes for biodiversity profiling of the area and an inventory of species use under the Biodiversity Module.

Under the GHG Accounting Module, DENR will bank on carbon accounting to determine how an area contributes to GHG that causes warming and climate change.

The DENR aims to help LGUs develop a simple financial system to assess projects, and learn basic bookkeeping processes and revenue and reinvestment analysis as template for annual audit of livelihood projects under the Financial Literacy Module.

Training on disaster preparedness and response, and knowledge sharing on earthquake awareness, climate scenario analysis and protocols will be under the Disaster Management Module, while carbon policies to grow back forests and natural habitats will be under Nature-based Solutions Module.

These modules aim to meet the overall goal of the DENR ENR Framework of improving LGUs’ environmental integrity, and improve the communities’ well-being.

Project TRANSFORM as a whole will help in area protection, water, energy and food supplies, and augment fund allocation in the ecological sector; provide GHG measures in the social sector; and provide resource-based enterprise development in the economic sector.###